Why West Brom should go back in the market for Andre Gray
Back in September, a report from the Daily Mail had claimed that West Brom were interested in securing the services of Watford striker Andre Gray on a season-long loan deal. However, nothing came to fruition and the 29-year-old ended up staying put at Vicarage Road, despite the Hornets suffering relegation from the top-flight.
The Baggies turned their attention to other targets and eventually forked out £15million to bring in Karlan Grant from Huddersfield Town before the domestic deadline.
Andre Gray started his footballing education at the academy of hometown club Wolves before completing his development at Shrewsbury Town. He went on to establish himself as a prolific goalscorer for Telford United, Hinckley United and Luton Town in the non-league arena, paving the way for a return to the Football League with Brentford in the Championship.
The 29-year-old bagged 16 goals in 45 appearances in his debut season for the Bees before completing a move to Burnley in 2015. Gray continued to fire on all cylinders in the second-tier, scoring 23 goals in the 2015-16 campaign as the Clarets secured promotion to the Premier League. Gray scored 9 goals in his first-ever season in the top-flight, helping the club stave off relegation.
The Wolverhampton-born hitman was snapped up by Watford in 2017 and has since registered 17 goals and 7 assists in 100 appearances for the Hornets in all competitions. Gray has found regular playtime hard to come by in the Championship this term, starting only 4 out of the club’s 15 league fixtures so far.
Gray would add more variety to the Baggies’ attack
West Brom got off the mark in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United last weekend, registering their first win of the campaign in 10 games. Having accumulated just 6 points so far, it’s a no-brainer that the Baggies need to show significant improvement in the coming months if they are to steer themselves clear of the relegation zone.
Slaven Bilic’s side have had their fair share of problems at both ends of the pitch, scoring just 7 goals whilst conceding 18 in the process. West Brom, therefore, need to draw up a clear strategy to sort out multiple issues. That would give them a better chance of beating the drop, with the relegation dogfight expected to heat up towards the latter stages of the campaign.
Putting things into context, West Brom definitely need to address their problems in front of goal and making a renewed attempt to sign Andre Gray would make a lot of sense in footballing terms. The 29-year-old is currently out of favour at Watford, meaning the door remains open for the Baggies to lure him to The Hawthorns on a loan deal in January.
West Brom have relied far too heavily on summer signing Karlan Grant to deliver the goods up top but the 23-year-old has struggled for consistency, scoring only once in 6 league appearances so far. With Charlie Austin not in the manager’s plans and Hal Robson-Kanu not being trusted either, the inclusion of an experienced striker like Gray could make a lot of difference for the Baggies.
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Andre Gray might not be the most prolific striker in English football but his overall career tally of 23 goals in 115 top-flight appearances make for some decent reading on paper. He has definitely got a lot more experience under his belt when compared to someone like Grant, who is still very much a rookie in the Premier League.
The Watford man looks more than capable of providing some additional firepower to the Baggies’ attack, meaning that a loan move in January should work out well for all parties involved.