West Brom’s hit-rate with strikers hasn’t always been the best and their chief Luke Dowling could be about to walk down an all too familiar path at the Hawthorns if latest reports are to be believed…
According to Marca, reported Albion target Martin Braithwaite faces an uncertain future at Barcelona as he’s not particularly fancied by current boss Ronald Koeman, at least not like his predecessor, Quique Seitan.
As a result, the 29-year-old could join his former club Leganes on loan in January.
Just last week, the Baggies were linked with a move for the Dane by Spanish outlet Sport, who claim the Catalan giants would be willing to part ways from the expensive flop for just €15m (£13.5m).
Over the years, the Hawthorns has witnessed an array of dire forwards ranging from Brown Ideye to Victor Anchiebe whilst last summer’s double splash on Charlie Austin and Kenneth Zohore hardly paid dividends.
Neither player are part of Slaven Bilic’s Premier League plans and look every inch like a major mistake from Dowling.
Signing Braithwaite would surely hint at a similar fate. He couldn’t cut the mustard at Middlesbrough in the Championship and only finds himself at Barcelona as a move of pure desperation amidst an injury crisis last year.
Across two seasons at Boro, the 5 foot 10 frontman managed just nine goals in 40 appearances – even Austin has managed more than that for Albion, scoring 11 in just as many matches, per Transfermarkt.
Tony Pulis, who managed him in the north-east after a stint at West Brom, launched a scathing attack at Braithwaite, dubbing him “ungrateful,” he said:
“The biggest disappointment for me is he’s the highest-paid player I’ve ever worked with in the Championship.
“To show the disrespect he’s shown to this club by saying he’s not coming back, to Steve Gibson, who’s made him a multi-millionaire, let’s make no bones about it, the wages and what he’s earning are astonishing.
“For him to show Steve Gibson that disrespect, and the supporters and his fellow players, it’s just amazing. I’ve dealt with players all my life; some can make your hair curl – not mine. But for him to come out and say that, it just puts him up there as such an ungrateful person.”
In midweek, he bagged just his third goal for the La Liga outfit in the absence of Lionel Messi. Not that Dynamo Kyiv is any barometer for a player’s true ability.
Many in the west Midlands will not want to hear from Pulis but perhaps on this occasion, he should be listened to. Braithwaite is destined to be the next flop in line and must be avoided at all costs.
Don’t repeat your mistakes, Dowling.