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West Brom - Rise of the Baggies

Started on 26 August 2015 by LFC
Latest Reply on 27 August 2015 by kingpin_blue
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West Brom aiming to better 13th place finish

West Brom boss Tony Pulis is confident that his side can improve on last season's 13th place finish and believes his new signings will help them to do so.

Pulis took over midway through the season at The Hawthorns after Alan Irvine was sacked by chairman Jeremy Peace. The former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager led the West Midlands side to a mid-table finish, as well as a valiant F.A. Cup run, where they reached the sixth round before being knocked out by local rivals and eventually beaten finalists Aston Villa.

West Brom have pulled off impressive deals for Venezuelan striker Salomón Rondón, who signs from oil-rich Zenit St Petersburg for £12m, as well as snapping up three other players - Rickie Lambert, James Chester and James McClean - which brings their total outlay for the summer spending to just under £25m.

Rondón, who netted 33 goals in 72 games while playing in the SOGAZ Russian Football Championship for both Rubin Kazan and more recently Zenit, was previously subject to interest from Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool prior to their purchase of powerful Belgian striker Christian Benteke for £32.5m.

However, Rondón's arrival is likely to come at a cost for Pulis and his side as academy product Saido Berahino looks to be on his way out of The Hawthorns, and the Venezuelan could well have been brought in as a direct replacement for the Spurs bound striker.

The 22-year-old Englishman has impressed pundits and fans alike over the past couple of seasons and apparently sees his future at a higher level than West Brom after it was reported that the Burundi-born player had seen his transfer request rejected by the club.

It seems just a matter of time now before Spurs, who have already had a £15m bid rejected for Berahino's services, make another attempt to convince West Brom to let the player swap the Midlands for North London.

However, Pulis refused to discuss Berahino's future during the interview and remains confident of performing well in the coming season.

"I'm not here to discuss Saido's future. All I'll say is that we all want him to stay with the club. Moving on, myself and the rest of the lads are all feeling good about this season. We've looked good in training and the new boys are fitting in nicely. I can see each and every one of those arrivals coming in and doing an important job for us over the course of the season.

We're unlikely to make any more signings but I'm very happy with the team I've got at my disposal. We've got a talented bunch of players here and we're not going to be pushed around by anyone this season."
West Brom? Ew.

It'll be interesting to see what you do about Berahino's situation. Good luck! :)
It'll be interesting to see if you can keep Berahino at the club, good luck!
If you have to sell your soul to keep Beharino, do it

Lambert eagerly anticipating Rondón partnership

West Bromwich Albion's summer acquisition Rickie Lambert has spoken of his optimism about a possible strike force involving himself and fellow arrival Salomón Rondón.

Speaking to the club's official website, the former Liverpool and Southampton man said he was excited about making his debut for the club, especially now the Venezuelan international could partner him at some stage.

Saido Berahino is still in contention for a role in the first team despite heavy speculation from the media about the future of the Englishman, who has been strongly linked with fellow Premier League side Tottenham.

The Baggies have already rejected bids from Spurs but Mauricio Pochettino is expected to persist with his attempts to sign the 20-year-old who netted fourteen goals for the Midlands side in the league last term.

Tony Pulis has already told the press that he will do his utmost to keep Berahino at the club but should he leave, Lambert will likely step in and fill his place in the starting eleven.

"I had a bit of a tough time at Liverpool. It's difficult, because I love the club so much as a supporter, but being there, sitting on the bench most of the time, it just didn't feel right. I was very grateful for the opportunities that I did get in that team, but I felt it was time to move on this year and I'm delighted to be here.

Salomón is an amazing coup for this club and I can't wait to get started playing alongside him. He's going to bring some pace to this team, which we'll definitely need if I'm playing up top beside him! He really is a great player and this club is going to benefit from his talent."

Former Villa Captain Vlaar signs four year deal with rivals West Brom

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has confirmed the signing of Netherlands international Ron Vlaar on a free transfer following his release from local rivals Aston Villa.

The 29-year-old captained The Villains since 2012 but Tim Sherwood could not work out a new contract for the former Feyenoord centre half and Vlaar was free to leave the club.

The strong centre back is likely to form a partnership with former Baggies captain Jonas Olsson in the heart of the Albion defence. Scottish starlet John Souttar was also targeted by Pulis but the Dundee United defender opted to join Premier League champions Chelsea amid interest from Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Vlaar featured in all seven games for The Netherlands in their 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil where the beaten 2010 finalists reached the Semi Final before being knocked out by Lionel Messi's Argentina. Vlaar missed a penalty in the shootout but was commended for being brave enough to take the first penalty.

Vlaar had reportedly been the subject of interest from Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United after the World Cup finished but nothing came of the speculation and he has ended up moving just down the road to Aston Villa's local rivals.

Tony Pulis joked about Vlaar's previous club in his introductory press conference held at The Hawthorns, telling Sky Sports: "I think we're prepared to let the fact that he's played for Villa slide. He's a current international player for one of the top teams in the world and that speaks volumes about his ability."

Yacob seals move to Benfica, breaks West Brom's club record sale

Premier League side West Bromwich Albion have announced the departure of Claudio Yacob, who ranked among the league's best tacklers last season, for £17.5m to Portuguese giants Benfica.

The Argentina international played twenty times for West Brom in the league last season and the midfielder attracted the interest of several European clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur and Benfica's rivals Porto.

Ultimately it was Benfica who had a bid of £17.5m accepted for the player, who was briefly out of contract earlier in the summer. It had looked like Yacob would be leaving on a free transfer until the news went up on the club's official website that he had decided to extend his stay at The Hawthorns by an additional two years.

As we so often see, however, contracts can mean relatively little in the modern game with Luis Suárez's transfer saga at Liverpool evidencing this. The bid from Benfica matched Pulis' asking price for the player and the fan favourite leaves the club for a record breaking £17.5m.

Curtis Davies' transfer to Aston Villa was previously the club's highest transfer fee received in their history but Yacob has broken this record in an amazing move to Benfica.

Pulis has admitted that Yacob will be a difficult player to fully replace, but has acted quickly in bringing in an apparent successor for the three time Argentina international.

"Claudio was a brilliant servant to us, and even in the short time I was here he managed to impress me. As an opposing manager over the years, I could clearly see his talent and we will struggle to replace him, I'm prepared to admit that.

But the money that we're getting for him is huge for us and we can really focus on strengthening other areas of the squad now. Claudio will be pleased to know that he's helped this club even further without even being here."

Following this sale, spending seems to have resumed at West Brom, with former Arsenal midfielder Denílson joining the club in a £700,000 deal. The Brazilian notched up almost 100 league appearances during his time in North London and will come in to the West Brom team with a good knowledge of English football.

São Paulo accepted a bid from West Brom shortly after Yacob's transfer went through and Denílson is likely to partner captain Darren Fletcher in the defensive midfield spots. Since Pulis arrived in January this year, the defensive midfield partnership has been completely altered, with Youssouf Mulumbu allowed to leave on a free earlier this summer and now the departure of Yacob.

Fans remain optimistic about West Brom's chances this season despite losing two fan favourites in Mulumbu and Yacob and are prepared to welcome Denílson into the team with open arms.

His time at Arsenal was somewhat shortened due to injury and the emergence of Jack Wilshere in the first team but the 26-year-old will hope that he can keep his place at West Brom.
Claudio Yacob I know, have pretty good quality, it did offer received to sell it? or do not fit in your play?
And Vlaar, a very good player, and powerful! Denilson, it's an interesting player but I do not know if it's level with Yacob.

Good luck!
17m? Wow. Better than buying Insigne for 8m
That's a great fee you got for Yacob, good business.

West Bromwich Albion Transfers - Summer 2014

Ordered by amount spent, here are West Bromwich Albion's summer transfers in full.


Riyad Mahrez, £8m - Leicester City

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez joins West Brom from fellow Premier League side Leicester City. Following Claudio Ranieri's arrival as manager of The Foxes, changes to the squad were always likely and the tricky wide man leaves the King Power Stadium just one year after arriving from Le Havre. He is expected to be Pulis' first choice on the right wing ahead of Sebastian Blanco and Callum McManaman. In his short time in England, the 23-year-old quickly made a name for himself with the Leicester City faithful and impressed pundits.

Ryan Christie, £2.5m - Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Another attacking player, Ryan Christie switches Scotland for the Premier League after West Brom paid £2.5m for the services of the attacking midfielder. Technically gifted, Christie is expected to be used as part of a rotation system following an injury to compatriot James Morrison. Initially Inverness were adamant that the youngster be sent back to the Scottish Premiership on loan for the season but Christie was completely against the idea and his agent reportedly told West Brom representatives that he would not sign a new contract if it meant he had to return.

Denílson, £700,000 - São Paulo

For a lowly sum of £700,000, West Brom were able to prise Denílson away from Brazilian club São Paulo as he returns to England for a second spell, having previously featured for Arsenal. Considered a potential successor to outgoing Claudio Yacob, the 26-year-old has big boots to fill and he will be hoping that the injury problems he suffered at Arsenal are far behind him. He is likely to be partnered with current club captain Darren Fletcher as he looks to impress his new fans on his return to England.

Ron Vlaar, free transfer - None (most recently Aston Villa)

Not only a former Aston Villa player, but also their captain, Ron Vlaar made the shock decision to join Villa's rivals after his contract at Villa Park expired. Fans of West Brom don't seem to mind having a Netherlands international among their ranks, however, and the 29-year-old has been welcomed to The Hawthorns with open arms by Baggies fans. The strong centre back is likely to be considered a guaranteed started, providing he doesn't run into any injury troubles, and it's just a question of who will play alongside him in the heart of the West Brom defence with Jonas Olsson, James Chester and Joleon Lescott all battling it out for the spot.

Jonathan, free transfer - None (most recently Inter Milan)

Finally Brazilian right back Jonathan signs a deal with West Brom after being released from Italian giants Inter Milan. The 28-year-old defender turned down an offer from Porto in order to move to the Premier League and he is expected to assume a place in the first team ahead of Costa Rica international Cristian Gamboa. Jonathan received his share of criticism while playing for the Serie A side, with pundits noting that he didn't look assured while in possession of the ball and also made some crucial mistakes. He will hope to get his career back on track in the Midlands.


Claudio Yacob, £17.5m - Benfica

Defensive midfielder and Baggies fan favourite Claudio Yacob left the club in a sensational £17.5m switch that saw him join up with Portuguese side Benfica and astonishingly break West Brom's record for the highest fee received in the history of the club. Questions remain as to whether or not Denílson is good enough to replace the Argentinian midfielder but Pulis remained confident despite losing one of his best players.

Stéphane Sessègnon, £5m - Swansea

Stéphane Sessègnon also left the club but unlike Yacob remains in the Premier League having opted to join Swansea City for a fee of £5m. The attacking midfielder had reacted badly to the sale of Yacob and found himself out of Tony Pulis' plans for the coming season. After being placed on the transfer list, the Benin international joins his third Premier League side having previously made his name in the division while playing at Sunderland.
You've done well
A mixed pre-season for sure, but some good signings were made (referring to the previous update) :)

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