Dwight Gayle continued to showcase his prowess at Championship level by notching a brace against Reading at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon, and West Brom’s decision to swap him for Salomon Rondon is already looking like a masterstroke of a decision.
Indeed, Gayle took his tally to 8 leagues goals for the season as the Baggies stormed to a 4-1 win over struggling Reading on Saturday – a result which further underlined their promotion credentials this season.
If Gayle continues to find the back of the net as regularly as he has managed so far this season, there is no doubt that it will be regarded as one of the deals of the summer, but that’s hardly surprising given the club’s recent history with decisions relating to centre-forwards.
The decision to sign Jay Rodriguez from Southampton in July 2017 has been thoroughly justified by his glowing performances for the club in both the Premier League and the Championship, but without the shrewd sale of Saido Berahino they may have struggled to secure his signature.
Following years of disruption both on and off the field, West Brom decided to cash in on Berahino in January 2017 as they agreed a fee worth £12.5 million to sell him to Stoke City.
The West Brom academy product had showcased a huge level of promise throughout his development but his inability to convert his potential into consistent performances ultimately forced their hand.
Since joining the Potters, Berahino has managed to score just 3 goals from 40 appearances, whilst Rodriguez has notched 18 from 53.
The statistics certainly cannot tell the whole story but on that evidence alone it’s clear to see that West Brom were wise to sell a trouble-making character in Berahino whilst he still retained a decent sell-on value.
His record of 36 goals from 121 appearances at West Brom naturally drove up his price-tag to a point which allowed the Baggies to compete in the transfer market for Rodriguez’s signature, and without the sale of Berahino they could have missed out on landing their influential talisman.
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