It was another solid afternoon’s work from West Bromwich Albion at the weekend, as Darren Moore’s men eased past a struggling Stoke City side by a goal to nil at the bet365 Stadium.
The Baggies were looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-2 home defeat to promotion rivals Middlesbrough last time out, and did just that thanks to a strike from Dwight Gayle in the 25th minute, after a fine free-kick routine from off the training ground.
Stoke really failed to threaten Albion, who didn’t really get out of first gear, as Moore’s men picked up yet another three points in their hunt for automatic promotion – the West Midlands club sit five points off the top two with a game in hand.
Stefan Johansen was handed his first West Brom start at the weekend since arriving from Fulham on deadline day, and after an impressive performance in Staffordshire, we take a look at TWO reasons why Johansen should be a regular starter week in week out for the Baggies…
He suits their playing style
Since the departure of Harvey Barnes, Albion have lacked real creativity in the middle of the park, and Johansen certainly fits the bill.
On Saturday afternoon, the playmaker had 65 touches of the ball, accrued a pass success rate of 84.2%, and produced two key passes – one of those being a key pass for the Baggies goal, albeit from a set piece.
He can be the spark for West Brom going forward.
He has proved himself in the Championship before
Johansen was part of a Fulham side that not only secured promotion to the Premier League last term, but also played some magnificent football under Slavisa Jokanovic.
The Norwegian midfielder produced nine assists and scored eight goals for the Cottagers last season, and has already proved that he is a very dangerous, creative player going forward.
West Brom need that in their midfield, with the likes of Gareth Barry and Chris Brunt approaching the latter stages of their careers.