Sunday, May 28, 2017

West Brom making a move for Odion Ighalo

West Brom are reportedly in talks to sign Watford striker Odion Ighalo

I am not quite sure what to make of what I read earlier on. According to Sky Sports, West Brom are attempting to sign Watford striker Odion Ighalo.

In fact, there seems to have been talks between the two clubs regarding the player.

Depending on which report you read, West Brom have either agreed a fee of £17million or are to offer the same sum to Watford. The deal looks like it could be a goer, though. Watch this space.

Fortunes have waned this season.

Odion Ighalo was sensational in front of goal last season and finished the campaign with a very respectable tally of 17 goals. His partnership with Hornets Troy Deeney captain helped the team to survive relegation.

The partnership also helped the happy Hornets to the FA Cup semi-final, in which they suffered defeat against Crystal Palace. This season has been a tale of woe for the striker and his team in fact. The goals have dried up and the 27-year-old has scored just twice in all competitions this season.

His partnership with Deeney has not proven quite as effective as last season. However, Watford boss Walter Mazzarri has rotated his squad and the side from Hertfordshire have struggled for consistency.

Ighalo has not always been a starter under Mazzarri, as the Italian has tried to find a winning formula at Vicarage Road. It seems that Ighalo may well be surplus to requirements at the club.

Seems a strange move for West Brom

This seems a strange move by West Brom. Fair enough Ighalo showed last season that given the chances he can score goals in the top-flight. However, Baggies boss Tony Pulis has preferred to play with a lone striker for much of his time at the Hawthorns.

At the moment that lone striker is Salomon Rondon, with Welsh international Hal Robson-Kanu as the Venezuelans backup. Those do not seem to be the worst options in the world for the Midlands side.

Rondon has proven a very decent signing for the Baggies and has seven Premier League goals so far this season. That goal tally is decent considering that the Baggies do not produce a hatful of chances every game.

The striker has recently gone five games without a goal in the top-flight, but he is a decent focal point for the attack. I would not see Ighalo as much of an improvement on the striker. Robson-Kanu has hardly played for the side from the Midlands this season.

West Brom are attempting to improve their squad. As an outsider looking at the West Brom squad it seems to lack creativity from the middle of the park. Wingers Nacer Chadli and Matt Phillips are very capable of delivering from the flanks, but the Baggies central midfielders lack creativity.

Maybe the Baggies should be looking to sign a playmaker, rather than signing a striker, as Rondon has proven he can score goals in the top-flight this season.

The only reason I can see for West Brom making a move for Ighalo is if Tony Pulis is thinking of switching to playing with two strikers, which seems unlikely, though.

West Brom starting to show ambition

What January has shown us is at least West Brom are starting to show ambition. First, there was the failed bid to sign Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United and now a £17million bid to sign one of their league rival’s strikers.

The Baggies are currently odds of 5/6 to finish in the Premier League’s top ten, which would be a decent return for Pulis’ team this season.

On the Ighalo front, maybe the striker just needs a move elsewhere to re-ignite his goalscoring touch. If the 27-year-old moves to the Baggies and he is playing regularly then he could get back to scoring goals.

However, if he is signed to play second fiddle to Salomon Rondon, then he is likely to struggle once again. The Baggies definitely cannot afford to have a £17million reserve sitting on their bench.

Would Odion Ighalo be a good signing for West Brom?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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