West Brom could be heading for an absolutely unforgivable disaster amid reports that star man Matheus Pereira is unhappy over his current contract.
According to The Athletic’s Steve Madeley, the Brazilian playmaker has cut a frustrated figure on the training pitch since earning promotion to the top-flight with the Baggies last season.
He claims that this is down to the terms over a potential new deal.
“From his point of view, his eight goals and 16 assists in last season’s Championship made him worthy of a hefty salary increase and a contract befitting a star player,” wrote Madeley.
“From the club’s standpoint, they had taken on a player who was out of favour at Sporting, given him a chance in English football, enabled him to get to the Premier League and honoured a deal he had agreed to a year earlier.”
Indeed, this is rather a perplexing stance for Albion’s hierarchy, namely sporting and technical director Luke Dowling, to take.
Pereira is undeniably the best player at the Hawthorns in recent times and despite the step-up in quality and poor form of the Baggies, he has still proven to be more influential than anyone else.
Building on that tally of eight goals and 16 assists, the attacking midfielder, who is valued at a whopping €30m (£27m) by CIES, has already contributed towards another five goals in all competitions this term.
In the Premier League, no other West Brom regular has managed more assists and he is also managing over double the number of average key passes per game than any other player too, via WhoScored.
If you took out his two key passes per game, Sam Allardyce’s side would be completely void of ideas in attack as Matty Phillips ranks next best having averaged a mediocre 0.9 key passes per game himself.
Pereira was lauded as an “absolute steal” upon his arrival by Portuguese football journalist Tom Kundert, whilst ex-Nurnburg coach Nate Weiss dubbed him a “genius” who “who has a technical ability that I have never even seen before.”
That is exactly why Pereira’s stance over a lucrative extension is the right one, and why Dowling is completely in the wrong to hold back.
It’s only going to risk his long-term future at the club, and given they are sat second-from-bottom in the Premier League, they need their star man firing happily on all cylinders
The Telegraph believe the £9m signing is currently on around £30k-per-week, which would put him behind both Charlie Austin (£55k-per-week) and Kenneth Zohore (£50k-per-week via The Sun, 13th September, page 61), neither of which are even at the club right now.
Therefore, not giving him what he quite rightly earns is playing with fire. That could come back to bite later down the line.
AND in other news, £10.8m-rated “nightmare” at risk of becoming another Nacer Chadli…