West Bromwich Albion are reportedly eyeing a move for Burnley’s Scott Arfield now as the Baggies’ search for Darren Fletcher’s replacement continues. The Canadian international has had a decent season with the Clarets the last term, being Sean Dyche’s most trusted midfield general and Tony Pulis is of the opinion that the 28-year-old could bring in the necessary discipline in the midfield needed at Hawthorns.
The Baggies’ skipper made a stupendous move to Stoke City to everyone’s surprise, as the club failed to meet his wage demands. His departure has left a huge gap in Pulis’ squad, covering which is his top priority now. The conservative gameplay that the Welshman has cultivated at Hawthorns was significantly hinged on the anchorman controlling the central midfield, which Fletcher played; and getting someone of his attributes is no easy task.
Among the numerous names linked as a replacement for the former Manchester United man, also features relegated Hull City’s Tom Huddlestone. And Pulis’ interest in the forgotten English midfielder was a clear indication of the qualities he is seeking for. Given the manager’s history, he has never been quite interested in popular names, but more in the experienced lot who have been a veteran in the English football.
And the Burnley man looks to tick all the boxes for him. Sean Dyche had an increasingly similar approach to Pulis last season of absorbing most of the opponent’s attacking pressure with a brilliant defence, and Arfield has played a significant role in it.
Dyche had a horrid time in the midfield at the end with Joey Barton banned from playing, Dean Marney sidelined for the season and Steven Defour suffering from repeated injuries. His trusted Arfield held the mast steady under such pressure and saw the season through as the Clarets survived relegation with five points.
A left midfield by nature, Arfield can play on the right flank as well as through the centre. His incredible versatility in the midfield makes him an ideal man for Pulis, who demands his men to fit in any role in the middle of the park as and when needed.
An academy product of Scottish side Falkirk FC, he was picked up by Huddersfield Town back in 2010, when they were a League One side. Arfield helped them to gain promotion to the Championship later in the 2011-12 season before Burnley got him the next year. He has been a regular at Turf Moor since then.
With only a year left on his contract, Arfield is in hot demand among the midtable and Championship clubs. Hull City and Fulham are known to be keeping tabs on the midfielder, who is priced at around £2.5 million. West Brom are definitely in a better position to land him.