Grady Diangana has made his loan move to West Brom permanent. Much is expected of the former West Ham man he was the creative mastermind behind the side’s promotion to the top flight and his fomr will be crucial in West Brom’s bid to stay in the elite.Â
It still seems strange to see an empty stadium with minutes until West Brom’s return to the Premier League…Â
LEICESTER CITY – SEVENTH:Â Â A tough act for Rodgers to follow after a season when they were Champions League contenders and now face the demands of Thursdayâs Europa odyssey. The sale of Chilwell was understandable but once again says that this is a club that will always have to rebuild.
WEST BROM – TWENTIETH:Â Another promoted club having to gamble on financing survival or preparing to return to the Championship in ten monthsâ time. The signings of loanees Pereira and Diangana are a start. As for the rest, it feels like the club do not want to risk too much.
Even before they have kicked a ball West Brom know they face a big challenge to stay up. Slaven Bilic has told his players to fight…
Leicester are a great club and team, they did unbelievably well last season, itâs a big challenge for us. We are ready to fight.Â
ð Our first XI of the season.Here’s the side Slaven BiliÄ has picked for the clash with @LCFC.#WBALEI | #WBA pic.twitter.com/Nn5QqQheaG
In a competition that prides itself on a surfeit of superlatives describing West Bromwich Albion at home to Leicester City as the starter to SUPER SUNDAY (caps lock is deliberate in my bid to indicate the frothing-at-the-mouth level of excitement the Premier League, Sky Sports et al what us to all feelâ¦) doubtless sits better with the marketing men far more than the neutral fan. BUT (yet more deliberate caps lock actionâ¦) this clash could be as entertaining as it is intriguing.Â
The need to start the season well is a mantra well-known to every manager in an era of trigger-happy owners. But with this season compressed due to the new covid reality – there are just four free midweeks from now until the Champions League final – the need to get points on the board quickly is more important than ever; there will be little time for coaches and their teams to catch their breath. For the promoted clubs such as West Brom the need to storm out of the blocks is more than most.Â
The Baggies are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2018 and while Slaven Bilic hasnât had a huge transfer budget to play with the record signing of Grady Diangana shows that West Brom are looking to build a creative side of which the Â£18 million man will be an integral part. Diangana likes to run at opposition defences and will look to make an instant impression having made his loan move permanent.Â
Success for West Brom will be survival, for Leicester another top-six finish will be expected aa well as a good run in the Europa League. But after a second half of the season in which they fell out of the top two before finishing in fifth the need to start well will not be lost on Brendan Rodgers. They won only two of their ten matches after the restart last season and the need to change the mood, even though they qualified for Europe, is all too obvious.Â
But Leicester start the new campaign with the same squad – bar Ben Chilwell after the left-backâs move to Chelsea – and with the exciting attack that did so well to pose a challenge to the established order will offer a good early test of West Bromâs ability to stay in the top flight.Â
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