The Baggies had a strong campaign last term, but without the powerful Belgian forward Steve Clarke’s attacking options are limited.
An eighth-placed finish represented a mightily successful season for West Brom in 2012-13, as the Hawthorns club exceeded expectations and proved themselves as a difficult Premier League opponent. Their attacking football was a pleasure to watch at times, and especially at home the Baggies gave the best teams in the land a game.
However, with Romelu Lukaku’s loan stint at the club over and the Belgian returning to Chelsea, West Brom fans will be looking around to see who will replace him, and get the goals to fire them to another top-half finish.
Not only did Lukaku hit the back of the net 17 times in the Premier League last term, he brought others around him into the game with his aerial threat, speed in behind and link-up play. The Belgian attacker will challenge for a starting berth at Stamford Bridge and has shown at the Hawthorns that he is good enough to play for one of England’s best teams.
Looking at West Brom’s current squad, the club do not have a player capable of netting the goals that Lukaku did last season. The addition of Nicolas Anelka on a free transfer is a clever move by the club, and the veteran French forward will add experience and an eye for goal. Whether he still has the ability to score consistently at the highest level remains to be seen however, and at 34 years old the Baggies will not want to over-rely on him.
Peter Odemwingie’s future is still up in the air after his farcical attempts to factor a move away from the club. The Nigerian attacker is more than able but his heart does not seem to be in the right place.
Shane Long is a solid performer and certainly capable of getting goals if he remains injury free. He offers pace and precision, and is a player that will be important to the Baggies next term. However, in his last two campaigns in the Premier League with West Brom he has only scored eight goals in each season.
Sweden international Markus Rosenberg will also compete for a place, but as yet is an unknown entity to the Hawthorns faithful. The Scandinavian failed to hit the net in his debut campaign for the club in 2012-13, and although he has played for strong clubs such as Werder Bremen and Ajax, his career-best goal return for a campaign was a modest 14 for the German club in 2007-08.
Steve Clarke still has plenty of time to bolster his squad, and should really be looking to sign another forward before the window closes. If he fails to do so, West Brom could struggle to get the goals needed to compete.
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