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:

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.