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Monday, 20 June 2016

West Bromwich Albion

west brom
West Bromwich Albion last won a trophy in 1968, when a Jeff Astle goal was enough to beat Everton 1-0 in the FA Cup final, but manager Tony Pulis has committed his future to the Baggies and said that he would like at least three or four years at the Hawthorns to move the club forward.

Despite several lacklustre performances in January and February, including failure to register a single shot on target against Aston Villa and Newcastle, who were both subsequently relegated from the Premier League, and a shock FA Cup fifth-round defeat by Championship side Reading, Albion recovered to finish 14th in the Premier League.

Technical director Nicky Hammond, who joined the club at the end of April, has said that Tony Pulis will have the final say on transfers during the summer. Midfielder Stephane Sessegnon, 31, and striker Victor Anichebe, 28, have already left the Hawthorns after reaching the end of their contracts, but veteran defenders Gareth McAuley, 36, and Jonas Olsson, 33, have signed new one-year contract extensions.

Albion scored just 34 goals in the Premier League in 2014/15 – only bottom side Aston Villa scored fewer – so, while midfielder James Morrison is likely to sign a new contract, Pulis will, no doubt, be looking to bolster his attacking options during the summer. QPR winger Matt Phillips is one possible target, Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes is another, and Palermo midfielder Franco Vazquez is yet another, although Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan are also interested in the latter.

West Brom are rank outsiders at 1,500/1 to win the Premier League title in 2015/16, and just 5/2 to be relegated but, with Pulis at the helm, a top six finish, at 50/1, doesn’t seem entirely out of the question and staying up, a 4/11, may well be a foregone conclusion.

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