WBA-MAD Blog: Berahino and the transfer window

Last updated : 19 August 2015 By Site Editor

For weeks now the name on every fan’s lips has been Saido Berahino. Yesterday we received a bid of £15 million from Tottenham, which was swiftly rejected and Jeremy Peace was quick to assure us that 'selling Saido is simply not on our agenda.'  Whatever happens Peace will do what is best for the club and unless the offer from Spurs is significantly higher, Berahino will still be a West Brom player come September 1st.

Even if Saido was to leave there are other options that could be promising. Javier Hernandez could be available from Manchester United for the right price and he has a good goal scoring record despite his lack of playing time. Charlie Austin is another player we have been linked to and he scored 18 Premier League goals for relegated QPR last season, but his £15 million price tag seems to have put us off for the moment.

The signing of Salomon Rondon was announced just a few hours before kick-off against Manchester City and the news was greeted with optimism amongst the fans and a chorus of cheers. Rondon, along with Rickie Lambert, should provide us with much needed help in the goalscoring department to take away the burden from Berahino. The 6ft 3in striker had a good record with Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg scoring 20 goals in 37 appearances. And if he can have a similar impact at the Hawthorns he'll become an instant fans favourite. 

New boys 

The signing of Rondon, adding to the captures of James McClean, James Chester, Rickie Lambert and Serge Gnabry, will certainly improve the squad dramatically. McClean, despite his 'marmite' personality and 'debatable' views will bring us much needed width and pace down the wing. Chester is a versatile, young defender who can play at centre-back or full back and has bags of experience having come through the Man United ranks. Lambert is a very experienced striker and despite his limited playing time at Liverpool, he was an extremely gifted player at Southampton and scored 106 goals in 207 appearances. Gnabry is a talented, young footballer whose career thus far has been blighted by injury but hopefully with that now behind him, his pace and flair can surely only be an asset to us whilst he is on loan from Arsenal.

Despite the signings that have currently been made, last Saturday's poor performance against Watford certainly highlights the need for more changes before the end of the transfer window. Tony Pulis stated in his press conference after the Watford game he’s still 'looking to be busy in the transfer window including players coming in and leaving the football club.' 

Filling gaps

One of the areas Pulis is looking to strengthen is the goalkeeping department. The injury to Ben Foster is a concern as although he is set to be back by October, there is also the matter of match fitness and any other possible setbacks in his recovery. Boaz Myhill is in my opinion a more than capable replacement but if he was to be unavailable due to injury or suspension it would leave us with no senior, experienced goalkeeper. David Marshall has continually been linked to us in recent weeks and at £5 million could be a smart piece of business. He has 19 caps for Scotland and has been linked to Arsenal in the past. 

As for the defence it has been rumoured that we have had a £5 million bid accepted by Tottenham for centre back Federico Fazio. As someone who Spurs paid £8 million for, just a year ago from Sevilla, it could appear to be a smart move. And at 6ft 5in he certainly fits into the Tony Pulis mould. But with Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Olsson and Chester all centre backs by trade, it would seem that the door could be open for one of our current crop of defenders to leave. Our fiercest rivals Aston Villa have in the past couple of weeks tabled a bid of £1 million for Joleon Lescott. But surely someone of his pedigree is someone we should be looking to keep, even if age is no longer on his side. 

Midfield is where we are blessed with lots of talent but unfortunately players are constantly being played out of position. For instance, Craig Gardner and James Morrison are very good central midfielders but by being played on the wing we're certainly not getting the best out of them. Fletcher as our captain brings leadership and quality and Yacob – who we sorely missed against Manchester City – shields the back four and does the work which often goes unnoticed. But where does that leave Morrison and Gardner? Having added McClean and Gnabry to the wingers we already have at the club I personally believe this isn't any longer top of Pulis' priorities. We've been linked to Matt Phillips and Bakary Sako, who has now joined Crystal Palace, and we need players of this quality who have the pace and technical ability to cause the opposition problems in the wide areas.

One thing is for sure, whoever comes in and whoever leaves the club in the last couple of weeks of the transfer window is bound to be a busy one and the outcome will be crucial to the rest of our season.

Come on you Baggies.

Follow Sarah Rudge on Twitter @sarah_WBAx