West Brom have made just five signings this summer and quite expectedly the fans won’t be happy with the business they have done. After the club settled for a 0-0 stalemate against Middlesbrough on 28th August, the fans booed off the team and the manager and only three signings have been made after that. We expected the Baggies to be a bit more active on the deadline day but that hasn’t been the case.
With the five signings, Pulis made this summer, let us take a look at the strongest possible XI of the Baggies.
Ben Foster will easily remain the first-choice keeper. The former Manchester United custodian has been a reliable servant to the Baggies for quite a long time now. With McAuley, Olsson and Evans, West Brom have three solid central defenders and there will be a strong competition for places. As things stand, McAuley and Evans are the first-choice centre-back pairing. Despite the signing on Allan Nyom, Craig Dawson could remain the first-choice right-back. Young Brendan Galloway, on loan from Everton, will take up the left full-back role.
Claudio Yacob is an integral part of the system Tony Pulis believes in. The Argentine is an out and out midfield destroyer and is an automatic choice in defensive midfield. Skipper Darren Fletcher and Craig Gardner are likely to play in the middle of the park in most games as the box to box midfielders. Club record signing Nacer Chadli will be deployed on the right flank in most games while Euro 2016 start Hal Robson-Kanu will be deployed on the left flank. The likes of James McClean, Callum McManaman and young Jonathan Leko will provide a strong competition for places on the flanks. On the other hand, they will also offer Pulis an option to switch his tactics.
Jose Salomon Rondon is likely to be preferred ahead of Saido Berahino up front. Berahino, despite all the speculations linking him with a move away from the club, has stayed put to the Midlands club but unless he signs a new contract, he is unlikely to play a lot of games. Pulis might also opt or a formation with two up front but that remains highly unlikely right now.