Have West Brom just handed their Midland rivals Aston Villa the opportunity to finally solve their ongoing defensive crisis?
Thanks to some rather odd transfer dealings, Aston Villa only have one natural centre-back in their ranks with Mile Jedinak forced to line up alongside James Chester in defence this season. The 4-1 thrashing at Sheffield United shows that this cannot be seen as a long-term solution.
So, with the transfer window shut, Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has been scouring the free agent market for potential additions.
But, according to the Daily Star, John Terry’s return is in doubt due to his £65,000-a-week wage demands. James Collins, meanwhile, has been training with Ipswich Town and manager Paul Hurst is keen to offer him a contract, according to the EADT.
Fortunately, however, West Brom have potentially opened a window for Aston Villa as the John Terry door threatens to slam shut.
According to the Express and Star, The Baggies have decided against offering a contract to Russell Martin, the 32-year-old centre-back who has been on trial at The Hawthrons after being released by Norwich.
West Brom might not have had any use for him but Martin ticks a lot of boxes for Aston Villa. The 29-time Scotland international boasts a huge amount of Championship experience and won promotion twice with Norwich in 2011 and 2014.
He is a leader too, captaining The Canaries in their second promotion three years ago. And Martin could fill the positional and leadership void Terry left when he departed this summer.