Signing Watford striker Andre Gray could help West Bromwich Albion secure promotion to the Premier League this term, according to former Albion midfielder Carson Palmer.
New Baggies boss Valerien Ismael has made four signings so far this summer, adding Alex Mowatt, Quevin Castro, Adam Reach, and Matt Clarke, but looks to still be in the market for a new striker.
Gray is among the players to have been linked with the West Midlands club this summer, with the Baggies said to be plotting a move and open to either a permanent deal or a loan.
Middlesbrough are also understood to be keen on the 30-year-old striker, who has fallen down the pecking order at Vicarage Road after the arrivals of Ashley Fletcher, Josh King, and Emmanuel Dennis.
Speaking to Football FanCast, Palmer – who started his career at the Hawthorns and made more than 100 appearances for the club – has tipped Gray to be the ideal fit to help Albion win promotion to the top flight.
He said: “He wasn’t prolific last season, but he has scored over 20 goals on an occasion in the Championship.
“Right age at 30, experienced and will probably fall into [Valerien] Ismael’s budget.
“He’s the type of player that would fit their bill to get them promoted.”
The striker is currently in the final year of his contract, meaning the Hornets would surely be happy to see him depart for minimal compensation, if any.
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If Ismael can get Gray back to his best and to buy into his industrious, high tempo style of play then the 30-year-old could be the final piece of the puzzle for the Baggies.
The Albion boss seems to see Karlan Grant as a wide forward, which leaves him fairly short of options through the middle and Kenneth Zohore is yet to convince that he can he a consistent goalscorer.
Gray’s recent record hasn’t been much better and you have to go back to the 2016/17 campaign for the last time he reached double figures in terms of goals.
That said, at Watford he’s not had the chance to be the main striker week in, week out across a whole season for a long time and the last time he did so he bagged 23 goals for Burnley.
He’s got the physical traits to thrive in Ismael’s system and the backing of the French coach could be just what he needs to rediscover his form in front of goal.