Reading and Wigan fans react as West Brom sign Ali Al-Habsi

Slaven Bilic the head coach

Ali Al-Habsi is back in the Championship with West Bromwich Albion but could he have still done a job at Wigan Athletic or the Royals?

Ali Al-Habsi of Reading celebrates his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Second Leg match between Reading and Fulham at Madejski Stadium on May 16, 2017 in Reading,...

West Bromwich Albion love to announce a surprise signing out of the blue.

Last year it was Tyrone Mears, the veteran full-back returning to England after a spell in the USA. This time; Ali Al-Habsi.

At the age of 37 and with 120 caps for Oman under his belt, one of the most likeable goalkeepers around is on his way back to Britain. West Brom have signed him on a short-term deal until the end of the season with Al-Habsi set to provide competition for Sam Johnstone at The Hawthorns.

But, while the veteran shot-stopper has been welcomed with open arms at West Brom, the move hasn’t gone down too well elsewhere in the Championship.

Clint Dempsey of Fulham scores his frist goal with a header past Wigan Goalkeeper, Ali Al Habsi during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Wigan Athletic at Craven Cottage...

Al-Habsi is a bona fide club legend at Wigan Athletic after making 155 appearances in five years in Lancashire with a series of memorable, physics-defying reflex saves still fresh in the memory. He impressed at Reading too between 2015 and 2017.

With the Latics looking more than a little suspect at the back and with Reading relegating Everton loanee Joao Virginia to the bench after a disastrous start to life at the Madejski, it seems that both sets of fans would have been more than glad to see this cult hero return.

Ali Al-Habsi of Reading celebrates after he makes a save during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final match between Reading and Huddersfield Town at Wembley Stadium on May 29, 2017 in...


Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch