Writer: S Wilton
Date:Saturday July 24 2010
With the new season opener at Chelsea just three weeks away concern is rising amongst the Albion faithful. Fans are concerned that the club has not completed enough business as it once again attempts to establish itself amongst the elite of British football.
It has been well documented that Roberto Di Matteo is seeking to improve the spine of his team by signing a new Goalkeeper, Central Midfielder and Striker. However, he has thus far been frustrated in his attempts to add further to his squad after the early captures of Gabriel Tamas, Pablo Ibanez and Steven Reid.
The Baggies have tried and failed to sign Preston stopper Andy Lonergan. Scott Carson and Lonergan are good friends and he has made clear to Albion that he would welcome a move to the Premier League new boys. Preston seem determined to keep hold of their prize asset despite their financial difficulties. Now the West Brom hierarchy have switched their attention to Sheffield Wednesday's highly rated keeper, Lee Grant. The Yorkshire outfit have financial difficulties of their own having been served with a winding up order by HMRC for unpaid taxes. However, West Brom face competition for his services from Burnley who have already had three bids turned down.
Albion's targets for the centre of midfield are less clear but George Boateng is currently training with the squad after his release from Hull City and could be an option to add experience to what is still a very young side. Another possibility is one time loanee, Wigan Athletic's Ben Watson who could now be allowed to leave following the capture of James McArthur from Hamilton Academical.
Up front there have been rumours of numerous strikers attracting the attention of the Baggies. Liverpool's David N'Gog is wanted on loan but he has stated that he wants to stay with the Reds and fight for his place although PSV Eindhoven have been sniffing around and an offer of a permanent transfer could be on the cards from them. PSV have already snared one time Albion target, Hamburg's Marcus Berg, on a season long loan. Stoke City's James Beattie has long been on the wish list but their unrealistic valuation of him and possible interest from Blackburn Rovers has cooled Albion's interest. West Brom could move for old boy Jason Roberts who would welcome a return to the Hawthorns where he is held in great affection by everyone at the club. However, he seems to be a name quite a way down on the list of players who Albion will try to sign. Other names on that list could be Manchester United's Danny Welbeck, Arsenal's Carlos Vela and Jay Simpson although the latter did not impress greatly when on loan in Albion's last attempt to stay in the Premier League. Another name to be linked is Eidur Gudjohnsen but this seems incredibly unlikely due to his high wage demands.
The coming weeks will reveal who West Brom sign to help secure their Premiership future but fans are already muttering that the signings will be too late in the day to make a real difference unless they are players who have been in the Premier League at the highest level for all of their careers.
Date:Saturday July 24 2010
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