West Brom signing this 31-year-old veteran star would be a good January coup by Sam Allardyce


Why James Tomkins would be a shrewd signing for West Brom in January

According to the Daily Mail, West Brom have identified Crystal Palace defender James Tomkins as a potential target ahead of the January window, with new manager Sam Allardyce keen on a reunion with his former player. 

Allardyce, who recently replaced Slaven Bilic as the manager at The Hawthorns, has earmarked central defence as an area that requires investment in the winter market as the Baggies bid to preserve their top-flight status. (h/t Daily Mail)

The former England boss worked with Tomkins during his managerial reigns at Palace and West Ham and he believes the experienced centre-back would be a good addition to his squad at West Brom. Tomkins hasn’t made a competitive appearance for the Eagles since February but is back to full fitness after recovering from a long-term thigh injury. 

As per the report, Palace already have an abundance of central defenders in their ranks and could be tempted to cash in on the 31-year-old. The defender’s contract ends in the summer of 2022 and the South London outfit would prefer to bag a fee for him rather than lose him for free in just over 18 months time. 

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Crystal Palace’s English defender James Tomkins (L) vies with Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on January 18, 2020. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, West Brom currently find themselves in a relegation dogfight following a dismal start to the campaign. The Baggies have accumulated just 7 points from 13 games so far, leaving them 19th in the league standings. 

With 26 goals conceded, Allardyce’s desire to shore up the backline in the upcoming window certainly makes a lot of sense. In fact, the Midlands outfit have the worst defensive record in the entire division, which pretty much sums up their struggles in stemming the inflow of goals. 

Putting things into context, West Brom completing a deal for James Tomkins in January would go a long way towards adding more stability to their central defensive unit.

The vastly-experienced centre-back has been a consistent performer for London outfits West Ham and Crystal Palace over the past decade, racking up a total of 263 top-flight appearances in his illustrious career. 

Bilic rotated the likes of Kyle Bartley, Semi Ajayi, and youngster Dara O’Shea in central defence with veteran Branislav Ivanovic also getting a fair crack of the whip. However, the Croatian had little success in stemming the inflow of goals despite switching between back-five and back-four systems.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 01: James Tomkins of Crystal Palace in action with Billy Sharp of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sheffield United at Selhurst Park on February 1, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The sorry state of West Brom’s backline, therefore, calls for the introduction of an immediate game-changer heading into the crucial second half of the campaign.

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Suffice to say, West Brom need to find a way to improve their dismal defensive numbers in the coming months. A tried a tested performer in the Premier League, James Tomkins ticks plenty of boxes to come through the door at the Hawthorns as a marquee addition to the Baggies’ ranks in January.

The defender’s past experience of working under Allardyce at West Ham and Palace also adds more weight to the transfer links.