West Brom are quickly running out of time to bolster their squad in a desperate attempt to save their season.
Indeed, the Baggies find themselves second from bottom, some six points from safety at the half-way stage of this current campaign and with one available striker, no senior holding midfielder and the Premier League’s leakiest defence, Sam Allardyce needs additions – fast.
The 66-year-old, who took over from Slaven Bilic in mid-December, claimed that Albion would make “250 enquiries” before hopefully signing “three or four good players,” as per the BBC.
Although a lack of finances could curtail any major moves – the Telegraph’s John Percy revealed any deals in excess of £2m are improbable.
Less than ten days are remaining before the transfer deadline on February 1st.
We’ve taken a look at how West Brom could lineup should Big Sam secure some of his reported targets, here’s our predicted XI post-window…
The Baggies are in a tight spot over domestic loan deals, as Chelsea starlet Conor Gallagher is here for the season, the Midlands outfit can only sign one more homegrown player temporarily.
With that in mind, the best decision would be to focus that on a new centre-back. Let’s face it, it’s their biggest need right now. Albion have conceded a whopping nine more goals than any other team in the top-flight.
Some of Big Sam’s former players such as Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins emerged as contenders early in the window, but instead, a swoop for Phil Jones, who he unearthed at Blackburn Rovers makes the most sense.
The 28-year-old is yet to feature for Manchester United this season and according to the Daily Star could be free to leave on loan this window with the Old Trafford side contributing a sizeable amount to his £120k-per-week wages – that’s got to be a win-win for Albion, who are said to be interested.
As someone who has won the Premier League, FA Cup and the Europa League, his experience could be vital in any relegation battle.
It means, when fit, Allardyce’s backline could be Sam Johnstone in goal, a central defensive pairing of Kyle Bartley and Jones, with Conor Townsend on the left and Darnell Furlong on the right.
One defensive midfielder linked with a move to the Hawthorns has been versatile Celta Vigo enforcer Okay Yokuslu. The Daily Mail claim the Midlands side have already opened negotiations for the Turkey international.
He’d be an ideal replacement for Romaine Sawyers in that Baggies midfield as he’s an actual holding option.
Sawyers was a favourite of Bilic’s having started 42 of their 46 league games last term, only missing three of those four absences through suspension. However, he’s failed to live up to the standard of the top-flight – managing a WhoScored rating of just 6.21, the second-worst in the squad.
It means Yokuslu could come in with Gallagher and club captain Jake Livermore slightly ahead in the engine room, whilst on the wings, both Matheus Pereira and Grady Diangana get the nod.
Finally, Big Sam clinches that striker he’s longing for. Galatasaray frontman Mbaye Diagne seems most likely given the Lions’ entering negotiations for a replacement.
As summer signing Karlan Grant is on the treatment table with a broken foot, he completes the starting XI, in time for that crunch-match with rock-bottom Sheffield United on February 2nd.
AND in other news, West Brom man once dubbed “fearless” on verge of becoming the next Berahino…