West Brom looked certain to sign Ahmed Musa after he trained with the Baggies and underwent a medical last month, but they eventually passed up the opportunity to offer him a contract, with Sam Allardyce saying that the decision was down to a lack of finances.
This was in contradiction of reports which suggested that the Baggies were happy with their current attacking options, so there is some uncertainty over what happened.
Former England defender Danny Mills is adamant that “there must be a reason” beyond what has been made public, telling Football Insider:
Big Sam is one of the best on the planet. He has this unbelievable knack of picking up players who have been discarded by other people and making them good, no matter what their ability is. He gives them belief. Musa’s a decent player. He’s got ability but for whatever reason, he’s fallen by the wayside.
Big Sam’s got an incredible history of fixing players. His track record for turning players around is amazing, so there must be a reason that he’s turned this one down.”
Musa has been a free agent since October after his release from Al-Nassr but no club has since picked him up.
The Nigeria international scored 11 goals and supplied 14 assists from 57 games in Saudi Arabia (Transfermarkt) but went cold in his final year, with only two league goals since April 2019 which may be why clubs refrained from signing him.
However, with Albion sitting 19th in the Premier League, 12 points adrift of safety while having the lowest shots-per-game average and the third-lowest goals tally in the top flight (WhoScored), surely any attacking player with top-flight experience like Musa would make a difference?
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Musa scored only five goals in 33 games for Leicester City between 2016 and 2018, so his record in the Premier League left a lot to be desired.
Allardyce has Robert Snodgrass, Grady Diangana, Matheus Pereira, Matt Phillips and Callum Robinson out wide and Robinson, Mbaye Diagne, Karlan Grant and Hal Robson-Kanu as centre-forward options, so he does have a lot of attacking personnel.
That could perhaps have been a factor in why they declined to add the Nigerian free agent to their squad.