Following the agony of their play-off semi-final penalty shootout defeat to Aston Villa last season, West Brom will be hoping to mount a fresh push for promotion again next season.
In a bid to rebuild from that disappointment, the club appointed Slaven Bilic as manager earlier in the summer, although the departures of first-team regulars such as striker Jay Rodriguez and centre back Craig Dawson could yet hit the club hard next season.
So far midfielder Filip Krovinovic is the only player to join the Baggies in the summer transfer window, meaning the Baggies squad is starting to look somewhat threadbare in places.
Here, we’ve taken a look at the Baggies strongest starting XI currently is, based on what looks to be available to them.
Having ended the season in a 4-3-3 formation, we’ve gone with that formation again for this look at the Baggies potential lineup for the start of next.
In goal, Sam Johnstone enjoyed an impressive campaign for the Baggies last season, so will surely be the obvious choice to continue between the posts.
In front of him, there is a defence that currently looks particularly short on numbers, with only five recognised senior defenders currently on the club’s books.
As a result, we’ve gone for Allan Nyom in the right-back role, since he is the Baggies’ only current option in that position despite recent reports that club will look to sell him in the current transfer window.
The departure of Craig Dawson means that we’ve gone with Kyle Bartley to partner Ahmed Hegazi in central defence, with the Egyptian himself having been linked with moves to both Al Ahly and Aston Villa in the current transfer window. Kieran Gibbs meanwhile should continue at left-back, having become a reliable operator for the club in that position during his time at The Hawthorns.
In midfield, we imagine that Jake Livermore and Rekeem Harper – who recently signed a new three-year contract at the club having burst onto the scene in the second half of last season – will provide a solid, controlling influence in the centre of the park for Bilic’s side. Just ahead of them, new signing Krovinovic will likely provide an extra attacking impetus for the Baggies.
At the top end of the pitch, the dangerous Matt Phillips and long-serving club captain Chris Brunt could be the men to provide the threat from out wide, with both having shown their ability to cause problems when putting balls into an opposition area throughout their careers.
With Rodriguez having left the club and Salomon Rondon set to be sold, that leaves the somewhat forgotten figure of Hal Robson-Kanu as the club’s most senior and reliable striker.
It means that right now it looks as though the burden of finding the goals to keep West Brom in the promotion hunt next season will likely fall on the shoulders of the Welshman, a daunting prospect for someone who scored just four goals in 35 league appearances for the club last season.