Welcome back, Brunty!
Club legend Chris Brunt has been unveiled as West Brom’s newest addition to the academy coaching staff.
The former midfielder, who brought to an end a 13-year association with the club last summer, having helped them secure promotion back to the Premier League.
He racked up an incredible 421 appearances for the club in that time, scoring 49 goals and helping the club to three separate promotions to the Premier League.
Brunt’s next challenge, at Bristol City, didn’t really work out. The Northern Irishman was brought in on a one-year deal, but all parties decided to sever ties prematurely after Brunt’s campaign was ravaged with injuries.
Speaking of returns…
Saido Berahino has once again outlined his dream to return to West Brom one day after two years away from England have ‘cleared his head’.
Berahino, still only 27, left Albion in January 2017 for Stoke City, but he faced struggles on the pitch and off of it in the Potteries and was released by after two and a half years.
Since then, he has been in Belgium and is currently on loan from Zulte Waregem with Sporting Charleroi, where Albion defender Cedric Kipre is also currently on loan.
The forward, who scored 20 goals for the club in the 2014-15 season before a proposed – and blocked – move to Tottenham the following summer heavily impacted his performances, still follows the club’s fortunes.
One of the Bhoys
West Brom winger Robert Snodgrass has urged Celtic to move quickly if they’re considering moving for Enzo Maresca as a replacement for the departed Neil Lennon.
Fan favourite Maresca, who played for Albion between 1998 and 2000 before returning to his native Italy when Juventus came calling, is currently Manchester City’s U23 head coach but he worked previously with Snodgrass at West Ham United, during the tenure of Manuel Pellegrini.
Maresca worked closely with the first team during his time in London, and Snodgrass – who made the move to The Hawthorns in January – was left particularly impressed by his approach to training.
As a Celtic supporter, who has witnessed Rangers reclaim the SPFL title for the first time in a decade which had been dominated by the Bhoys, Snodgrass can see Maresca being a hit at Parkhead if Celtic were to pursue an appointment.
The January transfer window was always going to be key to West Brom’s hopes of the remaining a Premier League outfit beyond May.
Not by any means blessed with a deep pot of gold, they had to be intuitive in how they went about things. Patience was going to be key, too. By Sam Allardyce’s own admission, what they did do was as well as they could’ve possibly managed in the circumstances; money was one thing, but attracting quality personnel in their plight was quite another.
Yet the midfield has been transformed, and already supporters are dreaming of the prospect of signing Okay Yokuslu on a permanent basis so that they might see him in the flesh in the coming months.
That’ll be unlikely if they go down, but at least the recruits have given Albion a slim chance and have, if nothing else, raised their collective performance levels. Three clean sheets in four, after their previous run, is no fluke.