West Bromwich Albion’s unbeaten Championship run finally ended before the international break and a familiar tale was told in-front of goal against Stoke City.
The Baggies had previously rattled four goals past Cardiff City in the match before they lost against the Potters, and the loss alleviated fears that fans have had about the club’s fire-power.
Most promotion-winning Championship teams have a 20-goal a season striker to help them into the Premier League and Albion supporters were hoping that player was going to arrive before deadline day.
Jordan Hugill signed on loan from Norwich City but he’s yet to find the back of the net for the club in seven appearances, whilst the likes of Karlan Grant and Callum Robinson aren’t consistently scoring.
One player who was linked to The Hawthorns late on in the transfer window was Troy Deeney, with the club expressing an interest in the then-Watford striker according to the Express & Star, but he instead opted for his boyhood club Birmingham City.
Deeney may have only scored once so far for the Blues, but according to former Albion hitman Kevin Phillips the club missed a trick by not landing the 33-year-old ahead of their Midlands rivals.
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“Troy’s not getting any younger and his game is based on hold-up play. He does work hard but does he reach those levels that Ismael is looking at? He wouldn’t,” Phillips admitted to West Brom News.
“That might be one of the reasons why they didn’t go in for him. Albion’s style of play and their high press, that isn’t Troy. He gives you something else, that leadership and he can get onto balls into the box.
“I can see why he didn’t go there but again, for me, sometimes you have to make exceptions and at that level, he’s a good player who can guarantee goals.”
Whilst Deeney still clearly has his uses, there is major doubts that he can be a prolific scorer at the age of 33.
Deeney did score seven times in 19 Championship appearances for the Hornets last season, however just one was from open play so it’s hard to agree with Phillips that he would have guaranteed goals.
Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant have both been prolific at times in the Championship and they have a considerable age advantage on Deeney, so it’s the right decision from Ismael to persevere with them.
As a target man who can bring others into play then Deeney can be a good option but as a goalscorer it seems as though that may have now passed him by so it was probably wise for the Baggies to not win the race for him in the end.