Slaven Bilic has enjoyed a brilliant first season at the Hawthorns, with the Croatian leading the Baggies back to the Premier League at the second time of asking as they finished runners-up to champions Leeds United.
An experienced head at both club and international level, Bilic has completely transformed the way that the team operate this term, with the former West Ham United boss bringing in a host of exciting signings last summer including the likes of Matheus Pereira and Romaine Sawyers from Sporting Lisbon and Brentford respectably.
The combination of both youth and experience at the club has lead to the Baggies playing a brand of possession based football which seeks to impose control on the opposition within their own half through the use of incisive short passes in a bid to open up space for a through ball to be played to the front line.
This is a tactic which worked to great effect for the Midlands club as they duly notched up an impressive 77 goals in the league, just finishing level with Leeds for goals scored – however there are some problems which need to be solved over the next few months.
Quiz: Have each of these 15 West Brom players scored a league goal this season?
Here, we take a look at THREE issues Bilic has to fix at West Brom this summer….
With the likes of Grady Diangana and Filip Krovinovic returning to their parent clubs this summer, it is clear that the Baggies are in great need of reinforcements as they make their return to the top tier.
It remains to be seen if the club will indeed pursue permanent deals for the two aforementioned players, with both sure to command inflated fees after having solid seasons in the Championship.
Therefore Bilic should ideally look to cast the net wide when searching for new recruits over the next few months with the likes of Fulham and Aston Villa underlining the importance of getting your recruitment right over the past few seasons in the Premier League.
In short, expect to see plenty of comings and goings at the Hawthorns this summer.
Despite securing automatic promotion, it is fair to say that West Brom experienced their fair share of defensive problems this term – with the Baggies conceding a worrying 45 goals in the league.
This is a statistic which is sure to grate on a manager of Bilic’s standing with a repeat of this form of defensive fragility sure to cost them dearly if it were to continue into next season.
It is clear that West Brom’s open and expansive style of play leaves them open to the counter attack and therefore it would be fair for Bilic to go for a more conservative approach as they seek to secure their Premier League status.
A signing of an experienced centre half with top level experience would certainly not go amiss for the Midlands club this summer as they seek to shore up what is a leaky back-line.
Unearth a goalscorer
Despite finding the net consistently throughout the campaign, it is worth noting that the Baggies do not possess an architectural 30-goal striker within their ranks, which could suggest that signing a new front-man may not be the worst idea for Bilic to action over the next few months.
The likes of Charlie Austin and Hal Robson-Kanu are well versed in playing at the top level, however neither are seen as prolific scorers at this current time after the duo notched 10 goals a piece this term.
Depending on the formation that Bilic plucks for, the addition of another forward should certainly be considered as the club seeks to consolidate itself in the first division, with goals sure to prove to be the most valuable of currencies for the club once again.
With the pandemic still wrecking financial havoc amongst football’s elite, many will expect clubs to sell before they buy, with the Baggies expected to be no different in that respect.