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West Bromwich Albion: Bruce could form scary duo with Lucas Joao swoop

West Bromwich Albion secured their first league win of the season last weekend by beating Hull City on an emphatic 5-2 scoreline.

One player who got his name on the scoresheet against the Tigers on whom Albion have been relying for goals for some time is Karlan Grant.

Last season saw the striker net 18 league goals for the Baggies, easily making him their top scorer, while only three other players in the Championship took more shots at goal than him (108).

With just over a week left before the summer transfer window closes, the Midlands club still have the chance to bring in another attacking figure who would not only give the squad some greater depth in that area, but also offer Steve Bruce the chance to form a potentially deadly partnership alongside Grant.

One name who has been mentioned with a move to The Hawthorns and who could fit this bill is Reading’s Lucas Joao.

In 85 appearances for his current club, the 28-year-old has found the net 39 times and provided 14 assists along the way.

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To compare Joao’s previous domestic campaign – where he scored ten goals in 24 league appearances – alongside Grant’s, the duo had the same rate for goals scored per 90 minutes (0.48), with less than 1% of a difference between their individual percentages for shots on target.

In fact, the Reading striker ended his campaign with a higher rate for goals per shot (0.18) than Grant (0.13), which highlights how clinical the Angolan is in front of goal.

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Previously lauded by Gary Rowett as an “unplayable” attacking figure, Joao certainly has the attacking credentials to be a fine addition to Bruce’s squad and potentially form a scary partnership alongside Grant.

West Brom’s previous league outing showed just how deadly they can be when at their best, while only Sheffield United and Norwich City have had more shots at goal and shots on target in the league this season than the Baggies.

However, the fact that Daryl Dike is out injured for a while shows just how much they could do with signing a new striker before deadline day, with Kenneth Zohore (who hasn’t scored since the 2020/21 season) currently the only centre-forward alternative to Grant.

With all that in mind, launching a move for Joao should be at the top of West Brom’s priority list.