Date:Tuesday July 25 2006
Albion are set to kick off the new season at home to Hull City on the 5th August with only two fit recognised strikers in the first-team squad. John Hartson and Nathan Ellington are the only strikers Baggies boss Bryan Robson has to call on in our first-team squad due to Nwankwo Kanu taking up his option to leave The Hawthorns and the impending departure of Kevin Campbell.
Many fans believe it was Albion`s lack of investment in a striker last season that cost them a place in the top flight as the Baggies board decided against strengthening the forward line after the departure of Rob Earnshaw and Geoff Horsfield in the January transfer window.
Albion had to finish the season with strikers Campbell, Kanu, a half-fit Ellington and rookie Stuart Nicholson available with midfielder Diomansy Kamara filling in up-front when he was called upon, but as all Albion fans know he isn`t the best finisher in the world and none of the other Baggies strikers set the world alight.
Trouble is Albion now look like starting this season worse off in the striker department than they ended the last. The Baggies are now without Kanu and Kevin Campbell as they look for moves elsewhere and rookie Nicholson is out injured along with Kamara for the start of the season meaning that only new boy Hartson and Ellington are available up front.
So where are the new strikers going to come from, we need goals to win games and I have a horrible feeling that we will be left with Ellington and Hartson for the first few months of the season. We lost out on Cameron Jerome as he went to Blues, Jason Roberts went to Blackburn so who is on Robson`s C-list? He has already spoken about playing Zoltan Gera up front but is that the answer?
Theo Walcott and Giuseppe Rossi have been linked but are they what we need for the season ahead? There is no doubting their ability but will a season in the Championship be that beneficial to them? They are young and exciting prospects but will their clubs let them go for a season in the Championship?
I like the look of Freddy Eastwood at Southend, he has proved himself at lower levels but can he do it in the Championship, would he be too much of a gamble, how much would he cost, would they let him go? I think he would be a fantastic signing for us playing off Hartson and would provide the threat we need.
Who else is out there? Albion need a striker or two but who do you want? Is it up-front where the problem is or is it the lack of creativity from midfield? Let me know what you think.
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