West Brom have looked increasingly strong under Valerien Ismael in the Championship and that’s been proven by their strong start to the second tier campaign.
The Baggies are sat happily in second place, just three points behind league leaders Bournemouth. With the squad that the former Barnsley man has put together, they look relatively strong in every area. They shouldn’t be short on goals, with Karlan Grant, Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson just three players who are capable of bagging for fun at this level.
In midfield, they can turn to the likes of Alex Mowatt and Matty Phillips for support and in defence they have the rock-solid Dara O’Shea and Conor Townsend. That’s without mentioning an England international in their ranks in Sam Johnstone.
Ismael then isn’t short of good options but he may still keep his eye out for some further recruits in January – after all, if you stand still, then you’ll get left behind.
However, it looks even more likely that they’ll have a battle on their hands to keep a number of key players – and if they do lose some of them, then they’ll have to make sure they bring in suitable replacements.
Here then, are some potential transfer scenarios for the Baggies.
To start with, let’s talk about that international goalkeeper.
Sam Johnstone has been solid not only in the Championship but in the Premier League too. His performances caught the eye and that’s why there are a number of teams keen to sign him as soon as possible, including Tottenham according to Football Insider.
Spurs can offer Johnstone the lure of potential European football and even if the Baggies are flying high come the new year – and could get back into the top tier themselves – they can’t compete with that.
They’ll have to be on their guard though and to lose a player as important as Johnstone midway through a season could be disastrous. In that respect, they’d be best trying to postpone any potential deal until the end of the season – but that probably won’t stop Spurs, and others, from trying.
Another in-demand player is likely to be Karlan Grant.
The forward has looked sharp and was wanted by many even before he swapped Huddersfield for West Brom. That interest is unlikely to die down anytime soon, especially with the 24-year old having gone from strength-to-strength at the top end of the Championship.
With six goal contributions in 11 league games, he’s catching the eye yet again and if the big money comes out from somewhere else – perhaps even a side at the bottom end of the Premier League wanting to push themselves higher up in the second half of the season – the Baggies may have to sit up and take notice.
They won’t want him to leave anytime soon but if several clubs come in, they may have to consider it.
One player who does seem likely to be on his way out is Zohore. The striker hasn’t featured much for the Baggies and doesn’t look like getting a game anytime soon either.
The forward and the club would be best going their separate ways, so one scenario that could unfold this January is the possibility of touting and offloading the player to a new club.
There may be an interested party or there may not but it will be interesting to see where the 27-year old ends up and whether or not he goes into the second half of the season as part of the Baggies squad.
Zohore himself would no doubt like to kick on and get more action elsewhere though – so he’ll be on the hunt for a new side.