West Bromwich Albion’s signing of Sebastian Blanco might have flown under-the-radar, but South American football expert Tim Vickery believes the Argentine playmaker could prove to be one of the best bargains of the transfer window.
Blanco, 26, signed from Ukrainian outfit Metalist last month for a reported £2 million fee, after refusing to return to the country this summer due to the highly unstable political climate, with the likes of Aston Villa, Sunderland, Parma, Verona and Real Sociedad all linked to his signature.
Having starred with boyhood club Lanus prior to his £5 million switch to Europe in January 2011, the diminutive midfielder also earned two international caps under Diego Maradona in 2009 and 2010, and Vickery believes manager Alan Irvine could potentially have a real gem on his hands.
‘I think he could be the bargain buy of the transfer window,’ he said on the BBC’s World Football Phone-in.
‘I liked him a lot with Lanus – his dynamism as an attacking midfielder, how quickly he gets into the opposition box to score goals.
‘The question mark is how much he’s developed during the three years he’s been in Ukraine. He’s been in a league which is less demanding so we’ll have to see if he’s come on in that time, and if he has made progress then I think he’s a very interesting player who could be a snip at a reported £2 million.’
Capable of filling a number of attacking positions in the lineup, Blanco made his West Brom debut as a 70th-minute substitute in the weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Everton and, with the club struggling to produce much in attack so far this season, it shouldn’t be long before he gets a chance in the starting XI.