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?
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.
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.
Shame it’s nor Wigan, but good luck Ali. Look after him Baggies
— Graeme Messham (@mesh1969) August 29, 2019
Was a period between 2010 and 2012 where Ali was arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League whilst playing for Wigan. Wigan legend, wish we could have him back at the Latics #wafc #wba https://t.co/FJfMm48W9C
— matty (@mattlatics) August 29, 2019
Why didn’t you come home king
— Louis Stagg (@dinglouis_) August 29, 2019
Gutted it’s WBA and not #RFC Ali but you will always be guaranteed a good welcome back to the Mad Stad whoever you are playing for…. Well maybe not if it were for Swindon or Oxford
— Chris Squire (@chrisasquire) August 29, 2019
Should have come back to Reading
— Arthur Withers (@ACW52) August 29, 2019
What’s Al habsi doing signing for West Brom? Get him back for the tics! #wafc
— Richard Harmer (@Rich_Harmer) August 29, 2019
— Didcotmassive66 (@Didcotmassive61) August 29, 2019
Yeah mate he still would do a job for us, here’s better than our current back ups…
— Alex Ramsay (@Ramsman_03) August 29, 2019