Can new signings prevent freefall at the Hawthorns?
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West Bromwich Albion manager Roberto Di Matteo must be at a loss.
Having risen to the dizzying heights of 4th in the Premier League table on October 23rd 2010 with nine matches played, his team have gone into an almighty freefall – losing 10 of the following 14 games.
As a result of that run, West Brom now sit in 15th, and it is up to the Baggies manager to return his side to the form they have proven themselves capable of.
Shock wins over the likes of Arsenal are all very well and good, but WBA need to start beating teams around them again,
At this stage of the season, points are more important than ever, and though West Brom are on target to beat the magical 40 points barrier to stave off relegation, more than half their points tally so far came in that run up until October 23rd, and their form in recent games is the worst in the league.
Roberto Di Matteo will be tempted to enter the transfer market to attempt to freshen up his squad, and perhaps a shake up is what is required.
At the right price, that is.
“We’re looking for somebody to give us more options, somebody who can give us a hand in retaining our Barclays Premier League status,” said Di Matteo.
Here are ten potential transfer targets as reported in various medias for the January transfer window.
1. Georgias Samaras
According to the Daily Record and Daily Mail, Celtic striker Georgias Samaras is likely to be the subject of a bid from West Brom in January.
Samaras has only scored two goals in the SPL this season – which happened to be against Hoops’ arch rivals Rangers – which hardly sounds like the answer for West Bromwich Albion’s current woes.
The 6’4″ Greek forward, who can also play on the wing, didn’t exactly set the world alight when at Manchester City, but with his contract at Celtic running out in the summer perhaps he is one of the few players available at a viable price.
2. James Beattie
West Bromwich Albion’s Old Firm links continue with James Beattie the latest player rumoured to be on the verge of a Hawthorns move.
Signed in the summer, James Beattie is yet to score a goal for Rangers though, and his stock can only have fallen.
If West Brom are interested in the player – who has Premier League experience with Southampton, Everton and Stoke City – perhaps they could convince Rangers to cut their losses and release him for nothing.
3. Pierre Webo
Pierre Webo is a striker for RCD Mallorca in La Liga, and though the team have been playing impressively, Webo’s role has generally been from the bench – though he has still chipped in with four goals in La Primera.
Real Mallorca are in as dire straits financially as Rangers are, and were disqualified from the UEFA Europa League after entering voluntary administration.
Though since bailed out by a consortium featuring tennis ace Rafael Nadal, perhaps Roberto Di Matteo can convince the club to sell in January.
4. Max Gradel
One of the nominees for the Championship player of the month award in December, Leeds United forward Max Gradel has highly impressed overall this season.
He has scored 9 league goals in 18 matches this season – the golden ratio for a striker of a goal every two games – but Leeds will be understandably reluctant to derail their promotion charge by selling in January.
5. Dieumerci Mbokani
Monaco striker Dieumerci Mbokani is likely to be made surplus to requirements if the club succeed in their bid to sign Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
Though he has flattered to deceive at the Monte Carlo club, West Brom found a decent striker unwanted by his club in the summer in Peter Odemwingie.
Odemwingie’s middle name Osaze means “God chooses (for you),” which goes quite nicely with Mbokani’s first name translation of “Thank (you) God.”
Alternatively, it could be completely and utterly irrelevant.
6. Peguy Luyindula
Paris St-Germain forward Peguy Luyindula is another player capable of playing both up front and on the wing.
Now 31, he is not as fast as he once was, but still possesses excellent ball control and has a trick or two up his sleeve.
In addition, his strength gives him good quality when it comes to holding up the ball and playing with his back to goal.
Luyindula could be available for around £2.5m.
7. Ricardo Fuller
While Sunderland are believed to be the favourites to sign Jamaica international striker Ricardo Fuller, the fact that the Stoke City forward is available for around £3m ought to spark interest from elsewhere – including West Bromwich Albion.
Fuller can be practically unplayable on his day, but can equally prove a source of frustration for fans as he tends to be more likely to perform the sublime than the simple.
Nevertheless, his experience in the Premier League could be of real benefit to West Brom.
8. Grant Leadbitter
The Express and Star say that West Brom have entered the battle between fellow strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham to sign Ipswich midfielder Grant Leadbitter.
The Tractor Boys have reportedly put a £2m price tag on his head, which when considering the cost of relegation is considered up to £50m makes him a bargain.
Actually, that makes Darren Bent a bargain.
9. Lewis McGugan
Just 22 years of age, Lewis McGugan is having quite a campaign in the nPower Championship for Nottingham Forest.
The midfielder has a rocket of a right foot, and could have a competition for goal of the season all on his own.
McGugan’s great form has inevitably attracted the attention of Premier League clubs, and West Bromwich Albion would do well to secure his signing ahead of other sides.
10. Federico Marchetti
With Scott Carson and Boaz Myhill having disappointing seasons so far, the signing of Cagliari goalkeeper Federico Marchetti makes perfect sense for the Baggies.
The Italian went to the World Cup with his country in 2010, and with Gianluigi Buffon injured against Paraguay, Marchetti filled in as first choice for the rest of the tournament.
This campaign has been a forgettable one though, with Marchetti’s desire to leave after the World Cup resulting in his expulsion from the first team.
He is strongly rumoured to be on the verge of a transfer to Genoa, but if Roberto Di Matteo can convince him he would be a hit in England, the 27 year-old could well change his mind.
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