West Bromwich Albion are in dire straits. They sit 19th in the Premier League, six points adrift of safety and have the worst defensive record in the division with 39 goals conceded from 17 games.
Sam Allardyce is expected to strengthen the spine of his side by signing a centre-back, central midfielder and centre-forward this month, but some were surprised to see a goalkeeper being confirmed as their first acquisition of the January transfer window.
Sky Sports reported that Andy Lonergan has signed for Albion, the 14th club of his career. The 37-year-old has been brought in from Stoke City on a short-term deal to provide backup to Sam Johnstone and David Button, a move which stunned supporters of various persuasions:
@adam_dyche2 what’s the point?
— David Cooper (@DaveCooper2000) January 7, 2021
hahahaha west brom really are in trouble
— phil (@phil260606) January 7, 2021
Scraping the bottom of the barrel there
— Philip Game (@phil08game) January 7, 2021
Yep cuz that’s the area we really need to strengthen?! 🙈🙈
— Lisa Rickards (@Squares86) January 7, 2021
Need more than a goalkeeper need a bloody miracle 🙄
— dazmo (@DarrenDazmo) January 7, 2021
Hahahahahahahahahaha this club is not serious
— Alex🐺 (Football Expert) (@wwfcAlex_) January 7, 2021
You can't be serious. This tin pot club going down. Do you really think a keeper of this quality is going to be able to stop the onslaught he is going to be under going forward. Hope he does not get back ache re the amount of time he is going to be picking the ball out of the net
— mark mayhew (@markrmayhew) January 7, 2021
Lonergan has played for Preston North End, Darlington (loan), Blackpool (loan), Wycombe Wanderers, Swindon Town (loan), Leeds United, Bolton Wanderers, Fulham, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Middlesbrough, Rochdale (loan), Liverpool and Stoke.
The Englishman won a Premier League title, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup in his 12 months at Liverpool and brings a wealth of experience to The Hawthorns, with almost 400 career club games. Johnstone should remain a regular between the sticks under Sam Allardyce, so it remains to be seen how much Lonergan will feature.