The perceived lack of ambition hanging over The Hawthorns remains a particular bone of contention among West Brom supporters.
Divisive manager Tony Pulis may have led The Baggies to a hugely impressive 10th placed finish in the Premier League last season but his pragmatic tactics, coupled with a lack of marquee signings from the club’s wealthy Chinese ownership, suggests the club is content merely to survive rather than thrive.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis
So far this summer, the likes of Bournemouth, Everton, Leicester City and even newly promoted Huddersfield, who have broken their transfer record four times, have made a real statement in the transfer market.
West Brom, despite being linked with a number of big name targets, have just Jay Rodriguez to get excited about. And reports in the Birmingham Mail that The Baggies are targeting Wolfsburg enforcer Joshua Guilavogui could once again reinforce the notion that the Black Country giants are happy with their lot in mid-table.
The Frenchman is a powerful, rangy deep-lying midfield player who played a major role as a thrilling Wolfsburg side finished second in the Bundesliga in 2014/15. Since then, however, the former Atletico Madrid midfielder has failed to kick on, enduring the worst of his three years with Die Wolfe as they were forced to secure survival via the relegation play-off in 2016/17.
And it’s difficult to dispel the notion that the 26-year-old is merely a cheaper alternative to William Carvalho. The Baggies made a £20 million bid last summer, per the Birmingham Mail, but with Sporting demanding more this time around, relentless speculation is yet to manifest itself into an actual bid.
Josuha Guilavogui would cost far less than Carvalho
Now, the report adds that Arsenal, Manchester City and Crystal Palace may take advantage of The Baggies’ dawdling.
Carvalho is exactly the sort of statement signing that would get fans talking at The Hawthorns. However, signing Guilavogui instead as the Euro 2016 winner moves to a Premier League rival would only add to the suspicion that West Brom are more than happy with mid-table obscurity.