The likes of Gareth Barry, James Morrison and Chris Brunt have all been performing admirably so far this season, especially Barry, but with a combined age of 103, it’s safe to say that their days playing at this level are limited and that some ‘fresher’ legs are needed in the middle of the park for the Baggies.
Darren Moore has openly admitted that the club are looking to strengthen in that area due to the imbalance in age between the players mentioned and the upcoming academy youngsters Sam Field and Rakeem Harper.
Also, Jake Livermore’s second straight red card of the season against Blackburn the other week means that he’ll be suspended until February, so strengthening there has become a major priority for Moore and his coaching staff.
A few early rumours linked the club to Tottenham’s Victor Wanyama and Everton’s James McCarthy, but it’s safe to say the Albion faithful weren’t getting too excited by those links as neither player is likely to drop down a division and the pair would most likely have Premier League teams interested in obtaining their services.
Instead, I have picked five central midfielders, all from the Championship, who I feel would be quality signings, would all be interested in a move to the club and could be obtained, I believe, for a fairly modest transfer fee.
Alan Browne – Preston – Age 23
There is no doubting Browne has been the standout player for the Lilywhites so far this season. The midfield man has scored eight times and laid on three assists, as well as putting in multiple man of the match performances. With Preston languishing in the bottom half of the table, Browne would undoubtedly be tempted by a move to a promotion candidate and I think he would make a superb signing and he is exactly the kind of player Albion are lacking.
Romaine Sawyers – Brentford – Age 27
The ex-Baggies man has been heavily linked with Aston Villa recently following Dean Smith’s arrival there but it’s well-known that Moore is a big fan of the playmaker also and knows him very well. A player who looks to get on the ball at every opportunity and get the more attack minded players involved, Sawyers would complement the more industrious Livermore very well and would be a great acquisition.
John Swift – Reading – Age 23
Reading have had a terrible time of things so far this season, currently sitting in the relegation places, but one of the few shining lights is the continued form of key man John Swift. The former Chelsea youngster is technically gifted and is a real driving force in the Royals midfield. He’s got a real eye for goal also and is undoubtedly destined for bigger things. Would definitely be tempted by a move to the promotion chasing Baggies and I feel he would be a great fit.
Josh Vela – Bolton – Age 25
It’s no secret that Bolton are in all sorts of financial trouble and there are already vultures beginning to circle, looking to pick up their star players on the cheap. One player who I wouldn’t mind seeing West Brom bring in is Josh Vela. The playmaker has had a poor season by his standards but there is no denying the ability he has and at 25, he still has his best years ahead of him. Due to the mess Bolton are in, he could probably be obtained for a lot less than he’s worth.
Jackson Irvine – Hull – Age 25
Hull have been on an unbelievable run of late and whilst the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki are picking up all the headlines, the form of Aussie international Irvine in the middle of the park has been a major factor in their success. The box to box midfielder has five goals already this season and is starting it make a real name for himself. It would be wise for Albion to make a move for the former Burton Albion man now as, if his performance levels continue, he could be worth a lot more come the end of the season.