New West Brom boss Sam Allardyce may be heading for his first mistake of managerial career at the Hawthorns already if emerging reports are to be believed…
According to Football Insider, the 66-year-old is eyeing up a reunion with his former West Ham and Crystal Palace centre-back James Tomkins ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
It’s claimed that the experienced defender has slipped down the pecking order at Selhurst Park and Big Sam is keen to take advantage of this.
Allardyce has one massive job on his hands and starting in defence could be a good place to start. No team in the Premier League has leaked more than the 26 goals that have flown past Sam Johnstone this season.
Not even rock-bottom Sheffield United, the only team Albion have defeated.
However, a move for a player that has played just 70 minutes for the Palace U23s all term isn’t the right one to make. It could be a disaster waiting to happen.
In fact, Tomkins has only made their matchday squad in three of their 13 outings, per Transfermarkt.
Whilst in only 18 starts in the 2019/20 campaign, the Englishman averaged 1.6 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 0.8 fouls per game, via WhoScored, which is worse returns than what the likes of Conor Gallagher and even Grady Diangana are managing in this struggling squad.
There’s clearly a firm relationship there between Allardyce and Tomkins – in 2015, the centre-back was tipped for England:
“Roy should look at James. He has really matured and is playing very well and consistently. ”
RH on Tomkins: He's been excellent. He was fantastic the other night in a tough game for us. He handled it brilliantly. We have been lucky to have Tomkins and Sakho as our centre backs . He is taking on the role as the senior figure. pic.twitter.com/lIajB6rBso
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) April 5, 2019
And the Palace man backed Big Sam to pull them out of the mire in 2017, he said: “We’ll keep going and there is no better man in charge to get us out of this situation. We all believe in him and all the lads believe in each other; we’ve got a good dressing room with a lot of experience in there.”
Albion fans may remember him well too, as he silenced Solomon Rondon twice back in 2017 and 2018 under both Tony Pulis and Darren Moore.
Despite the obvious connection, Tomkins doesn’t seem like the ideal candidate to lead that struggling Baggies backline.
AND in other news, West Brom exclusive: Pundit drops Luke Dowling claim after Slaven Bilic sacking…