This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Brom remain in the hunt for the right sort of players to add to their squad ahead of the start of the new Championship campaign as Valerien Ismael searches for quality new arrivals.
The Baggies are in the market to add to their midfield options and the latest player to be linked with a potential switch to the Hawthorns is Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane. That comes with The Athletic reporting that West Brom are interested in making a move for the 30-year-old.
Hourihane is believed to be likely to leave Aston Villa during the summer transfer window with the writing thought to be on the wall for him at Villa Park. That comes with Dean Smith thought to be eyeing up a move for a new midfielder before the window closes.
So with West Brom interested in making a move for Hourihane this summer, we asked our FLW writers whether they feel it would be a good addition for the Baggies…
I do think that this has the potential to be a useful signing for West Brom.
When I look at the way their current squad is made up, it does seem to me as though they are short on options in the centre of midfield, and could benefit from adding some options in that position.
Hourihane obviously helps them to do that, and his experience of winning promotion from this level with Villa, as well as his ability to make an impact in the Championship that he demonstrated on loan at Swansea last season, suggests he may be a useful asset to the Baggies next season.
Admittedly, there may be some questions about finances, in terms of both of fee and wages, while at 30-years-old, Hourihane may not be a long-term option in that position for West Brom.
Even so, given it does seem as though he could help a promotion push for the coming campaign, meaning I do think this is one that could be worth looking into for the Baggies.
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This would be a decent signing.
Obviously, Hourihane is a top-class player for the Championship and he would add goals and quality to any midfield in the league. However, the only negative is that he is perhaps too similar to Alex Mowatt. They are both left-footed players who look to dictate play, get forward and score goals.
So, you could argue that Albion would be better served by identifying a more physical, defence-minded midfielder to play alongside Mowatt in Ismael’s preferred 3-4-3 formation.
But, if they do end up with Hourihane, there can’t be many complaints as they will have brought in a player who can be decisive at this level.
Conor Hourihane would be a very smart addition for any club with Premier League aspirations.
His technical ability would be amongst the Championship’s best and he is a player who poses a consistent attacking threat. With Pereira set to depart, it would be no surprise to see West Brom try their hardest to bring him to The Hawthorns.
His delivery from set-pieces is also another aspect of Hourihane’s game that he excels in, however, The Baggies already have Alex Mowatt who possesses similar quality from dead-ball scenarios.
Hourihane enjoyed a prolific start to life with Swansea, and if he can recapture that form, should he move to West Brom, then that could play a vital role in their promotion bid.