January transfer window ins and out at West Brom

Posted by Matthew Evans

TRANSFER PACKAGE Demba Ba 20130717 [576x324]AllsportWest Brom could resume their summer interest in Demba Ba.

West Brom aren't exactly renowned for being active in the January transfer window; last season saw them make no new signings despite there clearly being a need for additions at that time. Albion are once again in the position that they could do with some reinforcements in January, and, to bring in their preferred choice of head coach, they might have to loosen the purse strings a little to persuade them.

The position that needs strengthening the most is left-back. Liam Ridgewell has been below par for many games this season but has little competition for his place, with Goran Popov performing poorly when he has had opportunities. West Brom have been linked with Aaron Cresswell of Ispwich, who is very highly rated and would come at a cost of about 3 million pounds.

He is a more forward-thinking full-back than Ridgewell, in a similar mould to Billy Jones on the right side of the defence, and also takes set pieces for Ipswich. At 24, Cresswell would represent someone who can do a job now but also has resale value, something that no doubt would appeal to Jeremy Peace.

The Baggies also have been linked with a loan move for Wilfried Zaha. I think this is unlikely; West Brom have already used one of their two domestic loans on a wide player, and using their second on an unproven performer in a position where Albion have plenty of options would seem strange.

Despite adding three forwards in the summer, West Brom still seem light up front. If they could find a quality forward available on loan, from home or abroad, I'm sure they would be interested. Potential targets of that ilk would be Demba Ba or Fabio Quagliarella, both of whom were linked with summer moves to the Hawthorns.

If West Brom are to spend any money in January, it will be reliant upon raising money through the sale of players. The biggest name who could leave the Hawthorns is Shane Long. The Irishman came close to leaving on summer deadline day, with his move to Hull collapsing at the last possible moment.

He is a big favourite with a lot of fans but, with only six months left on his deal, and with Hull rumoured to be interested again, I expect Albion will be tempted by any offer in the region of 4 million pounds, particularly with the other forward options they have.

Albion also might move on a couple of players who are regarded as deadwood. Markus Rosenberg is now sixth-choice forward at the club, and West Brom can't afford to continue paying the wages of someone who is getting nowhere near the matchday squad. Graham Dorrans is another in that boat, with the Scottish international attracting interest from a number of Championship clubs.

Dorrans moving on would again be mutually beneficial for both parties; Dorrans' career has stalled at the Hawthorns in recent years after an outstanding debut season, which was in the Championship.


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