When last season ended, it was a relief as West Bromwich Albion stuttered to the end of the campaign and attention could soon switch to the summer transfer window.
One would probably argue that one/two strikers, a left back, a centre back and possibly a winger were what many fans hoped would be on the shopping list going into the window.
However, the failure to retain captain Darren Fletcher opened up a can of worms and now Albion, as well as having to fill other positions, are faced with trying to bring in a decent midfielder that will replace the Scot’s influence both on and off the field.
The signing of Jay Rodriguez is quite a good addition if he stays fit and comes close to reclaiming his form that saw him earn call ups to the England squad. However, every Albion fan knows that more quality is needed to create a good feeling ahead of the opener at home to Bournemouth.
This time last year, only Matt Phillips had been signed and it took until the 29th of August for the second permanent signing, Nacer Chadli, to come in. The year before that, only James McClean had been added to the squad before James Chester was signed at the end of July.
The point is there is time and transfers can get done very quickly but the problem lies in Albion’s attitude to spending the money and competing with the teams around them.
Signing a player that Southampton had no plans to use and the impending arrival of Marc Wilson, a player Bournemouth need to get off the books is all well and good but the Baggies must start beating teams to the signatures of quality players.
The question with regard to Fletcher is who is high up the list to replace him?
This summer has seen targets Vincente Iborra go to Leicester for £12m and Ignacio Camacho join Wolfsburg for €13m, such incredibly small fees in today’s market that could easily have been coughed up by West Brom.
Even Fabian Delph, who has the Premier League experience that Tony Pulis prefers, looks more likely to join Stoke at the moment which really makes you question why Albion would let an ideal replacement for Fletcher join him at the Britannia.
There’s no two ways about it, it’s a position that needs to be filled as a midfield pairing of Jake Livermore and Claudio Yacob is just too much protection and Pulis will not give youngster Sam Field a key role this season.
Letting a potential signing in Charlie Taylor go to Burnley to work on the spine of the team was stupid but let’s see the spine and justify not signing the left-back by adding quality in that area.
There is time but Albion really need to get going in the market now.