This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
West Brom appear to be on the verge of a fourth summer signing with the arrival of Darnell Furlong soon on the horizon but Matt Wilson at the Express & Star claims that won’t stop Slaven Bilic’s pursuit of bringing Mason Holgate back to the club this upcoming season.
— Matt Wilson (@mattwilson_star) July 22, 2019
What’s the word?
The former Cardiff City striker comes fresh from a spell in the Premier League with the relegated Bluebirds and last time he competed in the English second tier, he bagged 21 goals and ten assists across 54 starts whilst Ajayi dazzled in the heart of Rotherham’s defensive sector playing both centre-back and as an anchor in midfield – he netted seven times and picked up three Man of the Match awards.
With the soon-to-be arriving Furlong, another defender, some believe Bilic’s improvements to the backline could be done there but Wilson suggests otherwise – claiming last season’s versatile loan ace Holgate is still firmly in his sights.
However, the club are waiting on his parent club Everton who will ultimately have the final say on whether the 22-year-old leaves the club on loan or permanently this summer – or even at all.
Premier League return the aim
It will be the second successive season of languishing down in the Championship for The Baggies, when the new campaign kicks off in just a couple of weeks time. This time next year, their parachute payments will decrease to just £15.5m which highlights the financial need for a return to England’s top-flight as soon as possible if not at least for the Midlands bragging rights.
The re-signing of the England Under-21 international will be hugely beneficial to the club’s ambitions regardless of whether Holgate returns on loan or permanently. The defender made 21 appearances in the Championship last campaign, scoring once, laying on two assists, winning two Man of the Match awards as well as averaging a rating of 7.04 per game.
In Holgate, West Brom know what they are getting – a young, talented and hungry defender willing to develop. If permanent, it opens up scope for making profit in the long-run. Therefore, helping their finances if they cannot gain promotion back to the Premier League. A loan isn’t a bad option either as a player of his quality could ultimately be the deciding factor in winning the title or having to battle it out in the playoffs yet again.