In the decade gone by, West Brom built up a reputation for loaning young talent on the verge of greatness. Players who have succeeded whilst on loan at Albion include Romelu Lukaku, now tearing up the Serie A, and Harvey Barnes, who played an important role in getting Leicester City into Europe.
More recent loanees Filip Krovinovic, Grady Diangana, Callum Robinson and Matheus Pereira have all been pivotal in Albion’s recent promotion back to the Premier League.
As the Baggies move into the top tier, the club will need stability. A Premier League club cannot rely solely on loans — as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. On the flip side, though, as the other saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
We take a look at five loan players Albion could bring in this summer.
#1 Aaron Ramsdale (GK)Embed from Getty Images
This is an interesting one. There have not been many formal links, though Baggies fans across social media seem to be clamouring for Albion to sign the young 22-year-old keeper from Bournemouth. In fact, it appears that Ramsdale himself is one of those fans.
It was recently reported by the Daily Mail that Bournemouth want £22m for the keeper. It is unlikely, though, that Albion would shatter their transfer record on a keeper when they have Sam Johnstone as number one.
The current West Brom keeper has been subject to criticism throughout season and a recent analysis by a Baggie on Twitter shows why: a large proportion of goals conceded by Albion this year came from crosses.
Granted, not all were his fault, though it does demonstrate that more work is needed to ensure Johnstone commands his area against more brutal Premier League opposition.
It would be shrewd business from Albion to loan Ramsdale from Bournemouth for the upcoming season and have him play it out with Johnstone for number one.
It is likely that Bournemouth would want some financial assurances with a loan-to-buy clause, as it would undoubtedly help them to reduce their wage bill as they prepare for life in the Championship.
If Albion were to survive and Ramsdale impresses, they could have an excellent young goalkeeper on their hands for the long-term future; if Johnstone wins the battle and Albion stay up, there is no love lost and Ramsdale returns to the south coast; if Bournemouth return to the Premier League and want Ramsdale back, Albion save themselves £22m.
It sounds like a win-win to me.