Tony Pulis' West From position is reportedly on a bit of a knife-edge having lost a star midfielder, but Crystal Palace's loss could be his gain.
Among the top released players from Premier League clubs this summer is Mathieu Flamini, who as Sky Sports reports, saw his first-team opportunities limited after the arrival of fellow midfielder Luka Milivojevic in January. Flamini had arrived at Selhurst Park on a free transfer from Arsenal, but would only play 13 times for the Eagles.
Having sacked Aland Pardew, Crystal Palace were in a bit of trouble in January and Sam Allardyce didn't select Flamini for the tough battles ahead.
Crystal Palace's Joe Ledley with Mathieu Flamini
As a central cog in Arsenal's midfield, Flamini excelled enough to make 107 appearances for the Gunners, so it was slightly surprising that he didn't find it easy to make an impact at his second London club.
The role that Flamini had at Arsenal enabled him to take on players as the team was usually high up the pitch, in the opposition's half, and he was good at running into the box unseen. He'd often contribute in and around the area despite his role as defensive midfielder.
It is surprising that Allardyce used Flamini's fight and desire for such a limited number of games, but he had other players who were doing the job well enough for him – that was just unfortunate for Flamini. But West Bromwich Albion could provide a new start for him.
For Baggies, the departure of Darren Fletcher was a blow. With Fletcher in the side, the Midland's club had started to play with a fluidity and purpose that should have seen them finish higher than they did. Worst still, the Daily Mirror claims Darren Fletcher's deflection to Stoke has plunged the future of boss Tony Pulis into doubt.
The paper claimed that when Fletcher was offered a new contract, Tony Pulis was "confident he [Fletcher] would sign."
Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini in action with Barcelona's Andres Iniesta
West Bromwich fans soon had more things to worry about. Johnny Evans, another former Manchester United player has become a transfer target for another Premier League team. West Bromwich Albion rejected a £10milion bid for defender Johnny Evans this past week, reported the Birmingham Mail. Evans is another player with European experience that the London club could well do without losing this summer.
But Tony Pulis can rescue his position with some strong signings, like Flamini, 33, who has a wealth of experience to shower on the Hawthorns. It would be another free signing that may get the Baggies moving in the right direction this transfer window. If WBA are going to get closer to the European places, they need to replace the likes of Darren Fletcher with players that have also played in Europe.
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