West Brom’s reputation as a “yo-yo” club could have been ended if the club made different transfer decisions to improve their squad over the years.
Having spent more than £240m on transfer fees alone in the last decade, it is hugely disappointing for Baggies fans to still find themselves an unestablished Premier League side, with them even struggling to push for promotion from the Championship this year.
They have lost a number of their talismans throughout recent years, like Brazilian playmaker Matheus Pereira, who left at the start of this season for Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for £16.2m.
Would West Brom have lost their yo-yo tag if they’d signed Zaha?
Yes, he’d have saved them!
No, he’s overrated!
Albion could have made a club-transforming transfer back in 2011, as according to the Daily Mail, then-Baggies manager Roy Hodgson was targeting a move for a teenage Wilfried Zaha, who subsequently became a hero at Crystal Palace under the English coach for years to come.
He has made 420 appearances for the south London club, scoring 78 goals and providing 73 assists as he has consistently helped the team remain in the top tier of English football for nine years and counting.
Eagles assistant manager Osian Roberts praised the Ivory Coast international earlier this season for his positive influence off the pitch – something which would have greatly benefitted a “yo-yo” team in helping them secure Premier League survival.
Roberts said: “I can only go on personal experience of the last few months, and I think Wilfried is a top professional, who is hungry for success. He wants to be successful as an individual, and he wants to be successful in a team environment, and in order to do so you have to push yourself and you have to push your teammates.
“Patrick [Vieira] is always saying to our group of players ‘you must demand more from each other’ and Wilfried is one of the first to do that.”
Ranking in the top 9% of wingers and attacking midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues and continental competitions for dribbles attempted per 90 (4.86), top 11% for carries into the penalty area per 90 (1.84) and top 12% for pressures per 90 (21.75), the former Manchester United winger has proven himself to be one of the Premier League’s top forwards in recent years.
If West Brom had signed a clinical forward like Zaha, who would have not only got The Hawthorns crowd on their feet but kept them in the top flight right up to the present day, they could have shed their status as a “yo-yo” team by now. Instead, they’re left watching on as he’s done just that with Crystal Palace.
In other news: WBA could face disaster on “accomplished” 28 y/o who’s “getting better all the time”