West Brom have been linked with several high-profile players ahead of a likely return to the Premier League next season, but just how well do these reported targets fit in with Slaven Bilic’s style of play?
Vedat Muriqi (Fenerbahce)
First off is Vedat Muriqi, the powerful striker currently at Fenerbahce. He had been linked with Albion back in May through Turkish media outlet Fanatik and there has since been a resurgence in articles linking the Baggies to the forward, with Takvim claiming that an offer has been made by Albion and that both clubs are in talks.
Fenerbahce were rumoured to have wanted in the region of €20m – €30m for Muriqi but after stumbling into financial turmoil following the Covid-19 outbreak, the club may need to offload some of their most prized assets to keep afloat.
This means that Albion could secure the 26-year-old for a bargain price, which will be music to the ears of the shrewd board.
Muriqi has registered 17 goals in the Super Lig so far this season and provided eight assists for his teammates. His tall, burly physique makes him the ideal type for the Target Man role, similar to the one Salomon Rondon played as under Tony Pulis in the 2016/2017 Premier League campaign.
As Slaven Bilic tends to opt for a lone striker most of the time, a player like Muriqi would fit the bill perfectly. He can make chances for himself by muscling his way through a defence, but with the delivery he could expect from the likes of Grosicki and Pereira, he would find it easier just nodding home floated crosses from the wingers.
If Albion can sign the Kosovan for a reasonable price, there can surely be no complaints from the fans.
Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is intending to offload several United players this summer, and Lingard is supposedly one of them.
The 27-year-old has had a mediocre season and is now struggling to get anywhere near the first team with the likes of Fernandes and Pogba firmly cemented in the midfield.
As a result, if he is to be sold this summer, he may be interested in joining the Albion, who have been linked with the midfielder, if they are promoted to the Premier League next season.
Game time would virtually be guaranteed for a player of his calibre which would make the prospect of heading to the Hawthorns all the more enticing.
As far as his position is concerned, he is often utilised as an attacking midfielder but can also be deployed as a winger on either side. This versatility in the final third would instantly make him an asset to Bilic.
Whilst his form has dipped over the past season, we mustn’t forget that this is a player who featured prominently for England at the 2018 World Cup; to have someone like that featuring in the West Brom starting-eleven each week would speak volumes for the club’s ambition, which has been questioned in recent years.
Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic)
Wigan full-back Antonee Robinson has been linked with West Brom for a number of months now and it is just the sort of move that makes sense for the youngster if he intends on playing in the Premier League anytime soon.
Formerly of Everton, the 22-year-old was never really given much of a chance but has since done very well with Wigan, attracting interest from AC Milan, of all teams, in January.
Wigan had wanted £10m for Robinson when clubs had enquired in January, but with the Covid-19 outbreak damaging the markets and the Latics entering into administration, Robinson could leave for just £1.5m!
Robinson operates as a left-back primarily but has been sparingly used as a right-back when necessary and has coped well. With the ageing Kieran Gibbs regularly being sidelined with knocks, that leaves just Conor Townsend to step in his place — that isn’t enough depth.
The addition of Robinson to the side would not only augment the depth of the full-back positions, but we can also expect him to challenge for a first-team spot each week.