Why West Brom should take a punt on Domagoj Vida
According to claims from Turkish outlet Sabah, as relayed by the Express & Star, Premier League newcomers West Brom are currently leading the race to sign Croatian defender Domagoj Vida from Besiktas in the summer window.
Another outlet Fanatik (h/t Express & Star) claims that the Baggies are prepared to pay a fee of £6.3m to secure the services of the 31-year-old, who has also been linked with moves to Roma, Inter Milan, Fiorentina, Sevilla, Monaco, and Lyon.
As per the report, Besiktas are willing to offload Vida amid their financial struggles, with the former Dynamo Kyiv star the club’s highest earner at £70,000-a-week. Albion are believed to be reluctant to match those wages but the Croatian could possibly settle for a minor pay cut as he is keen to play in the Premier League.
The Express & Star also claims that the presence of compatriot Slaven Bilic at the helm of affairs could prompt Vida to snub other offers and opt for a move to the West Midlands.
Vida shot to prominence with Osijek in the Croatian top-flight before earning a move to Germany with Bayer Leverkusen. However, after a failed adventure in the Bundesliga, he rebuilt his reputation at Dinamo Zagreb in his homeland before the versatile defender went on to enjoy a successful spell with Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv.
The 31-year-old joined Besiktas back in January 2018 after winning two Ukrainian top-flight titles and has since clocked up 94 appearances for the Turkish outfit, scoring 9 times in the process.
A full international for Croatia since 2010, Vida has accumulated 79 senior caps over the past decade and was one of the cornerstones of his nation’s historic march to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Why West Brom need him?
The first-choice centre-back pairing of Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley looked unbreachable at times in the Championship last season, with Egyptian Ahmed Hegazy also putting in a string of impressive displays at the heart of the defence towards the end of the campaign.
However, the Baggies don’t have too much quality depth in central defence beyond those players. Considering that Bartley doesn’t have too many top-flight games under his belt and Ajayi has never played in the Premier League before, it would certainly be a good idea for Slaven Bilic to bring in some experienced cover at the back.
Vida boasts only one career appearance in Europe’s top-five leagues but given his experience of playing in European competitions, as well as his enviable exploits on the international front with Croatia, the veteran would be an invaluable addition to a promoted side in the PL.
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The 31-year-old’s versatility to play as a right-back should also appeal to the Baggies following the departure of highly-rated Nathan Ferguson to Crystal Palace. Add to that his modest price tag and it should probably be an absolute no-brainer for West Brom to sign him.
West Brom need to upgrade their squad following their promotion to the Premier League and Domagoj Vida certainly has plenty to offer at 31. Having said that, Bilic’s union with his compatriot at the Hawthorns would potentially solve a key issue at the back for the Baggies.