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Opinion: West Brom could pull off big coup as interest in soon-to-be free agent duo from same club emerges



It seems as though West Brom could once again be looking to the free agent market to strengthen their side in the summer transfer window.

Of the eight senior players added to the Baggies’ first-team squad during the 2021/22 season, seven joined either on a free transfer, or on loan.

Speaking recently, manager Steve Bruce admitted that the club will again be aiming to recruit free agents when the market reopens, in order to strengthen their squad.

While that decision to bringing in players on the free rather than invest may suggest a lack of intent to some members of the fanbase, it can still be a smart way to exploit the market, if done right.

Now it seems that judging by some of those being linked with a move to The Hawthorns recently, the club could be on their way to doing that.

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According to an update from journalist Alan Nixon, via Patreon, over the weekend, West Brom are keen to sign centre back Darragh Lenihan and midfielder Joe Rothwell from Blackburn Rovers.

As things stand, both Lenihan and Rothwell are set to be out of contract at Ewood Park this summer, so they would fit the free agent bracket, and show the value of the market as well.

So far this season, Rothwell has scored three goals and provided ten assists – only six players in the division have supplied more – to help Rovers’ battle for a top six spot against the expectations of many, for much of the campaign.

At the other end meanwhile, captain Lenihan has marshalled a Blackburn defence that has kept 15 clean sheets and conceded 49 goals – with only eight teams in the league conceding fewer.

With that in mind, both players certainly have the potential to be important players for West Brom, as they aim to mount their own push for promotion next season, after what has been a disappointing return to the Championship during the current campaign.

Beyond that, it is also worth noting that both players have been heavily linked with other clubs in recent times.

While Bournemouth’s interest in Rothwell seemingly led to him expressing a desire to talk to other clubs about a move away from Blackburn in January, Premier League sides such as Everton, Aston Villa, Wolves, Newcastle and Leeds have all been credited with an interest in Lenihan over the past few months.

As a result, West Brom’s own lowly position in mid-table in the Championship this season – they are even two points behind Blackburn going into the final game of the campaign – means they would be pulling off some impressive business, if they were to beat those sides who sit further up the football pyramid, to these deals.

It seems therefore, that even if there is no money involved in terms of a transfer fee, West Brom could still show some significant intent if they are to convince Lenihan and Rothwell to make the switch from Ewood Park to The Hawthorns over the summer.

Given how underwhelmed many Baggies fans will have been by the way this season has gone, that is something they will surely have to do to keep spirits up around the club, heading into the new campaign.

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: West Brom could pull off big coup as interest in soon-to-be free agent duo from same club emerges

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