Tuesday, August 9, 2022

West Bromwich Albion To Move For This Algerian Marksman: The Ideal Foil For Rondon?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

West Bromwich Albion are reportedly eyeing a move for Leicester City’s failed prospect Islam Slimani this summer as Tony Pulis aim to beef up his attack following a tremendous defensive performance last season. The Algerian international, who arrived at the King Power Stadium on the back of huge hype last summer, hasn’t managed to impress at all giving manager Craig Shakespeare enough reasons to consider letting him go.

West Brom finished in the tenth position in the league table with 45 points, which has been their best ever record in the Premier League. And full credit should be given to their Welsh manager who managed to bring the best out of the side despite having little to no edge in their attacking front. With Salomon Rondon as their only natural centre-forward, all West Brom could do was take their chances from set-pieces.

The Venezuela international could only score eight goals and provide two assists in all the 32 league appearances and nothing more could be expected of the player, who hardly had anyone to provide him with the ball up front.  Apart from him, Pulis had brought in Robson-Kanu following an impressive spell in the World Cup, but the Welshman could do very little.

Pulis has always been an advocate of conservative football, where the team tries to slow the opponent’s game at every movement with a congested back line. Hence, apart from the counter in which they are very ineffective, the team highly relies on towering centre-halves to nod in from set-pieces. The Baggies need someone who can chase every ball like there is no last cause and take the slightest of chances.

And Leicester’s forward fits the bill just perfectly. The 28-year-old centre-forward excels in finishing and providing key passes in the attacking third. And what essentially makes him an Albion material is his exceptional aerial dominance. At 188cm, the striker has the perfect height to cause problems from lofted balls and that blended with his phenomenal work rate makes him a decent buy.

His debut season with the Foxes was an under average one with him managing to score only 11 goals and providing five assists in all competitions. His mid-term injury further made things worse as the manager couldn’t trust him with full time in the closing few games. He was directly involved in only three goals in the last 10 games of the season.

The Baggies could score only 43 goals this season, which is the second lowest in the top half of the table. Clubs like Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Ham United have all scored more than West Brom and finishing below them, which only shows their solidity at the back. And an addition like Slimani will only make them stronger.

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