Hal Robson-Kanu was released by West Bromwich Albion last summer after six years at the Hawthorns. He scored just two goals in 19 Premier League appearances in his final season for the Baggies, amassing less than 550 minutes of top-flight football, so his departure wasn’t a shock.
The 33-year-old was out of contract at the end of the season and fell down the pecking order under Sam Allardyce, so it was expected he would leave in the summer of 2021. Robson-Kanu says the feeling was mutual as he didn’t agree with the direction the club were going in.
He said on the Express and Star’s Baggies Broadcast podcast: “I didn’t agree with the direction the club was going in. If I was staying there had to be a long-term vision, a project. I didn’t want to be in a place where we were languishing in mid-table in the Championship.
“I think coming down from the Premier League, you have got to be fighting to go straight back up. You have got to have the right structure in place. But some of the decisions that were being made and what was being done behind the scenes, I personally didn’t agree with, so I felt it was the right time to move on.
“I made that decision quickly, a lot earlier than when it was released. The club put out the retained and released list but I told them a month before that I wouldn’t be staying on. Looking at the club now – it’s not the vision I have for the club.
“It should be competing as a minimum in the top two and trying to cement itself in the Premier League.” Robson-Kanu isn’t wrong to criticise the direction of the club given how this season has panned out, but he wasn’t going to be retained last summer regardless.
Allardyce preferred Mbaye Diagne and Karlan Grant over the Welsh international, so much of his final West Brom season was spent as an unused substitute or out of the matchday squad entirely. Robson-Kanu’s 24 goals and three assists in 154 games isn’t too prolific, so there wasn’t a clamour from supporters to keep him when the news was announced. And the fact he’s still a free agent 12 months later speaks volumes.
Robson-Kanu is not hanging up his boots jsut yet, so has he not received the right offer? It appears he has more passion for cryptocurrency too, so football is taking a back seat.