This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
When West Brom agreed a season-long loan deal for Grzegorz Krychowiak in August 2017, they were getting a player with an impressive CV. He had not only won the Europa League with Sevilla in 2015 but also scored in the final against Dnipro, while he was ever-present in Poland’s fine run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals and had won a domestic treble the following season with parent club Paris Saint-Germain.
It was little surprise that then-Baggies chairman John Williams said of the midfielder: “Grzegorz arrives with an impressive reputation that is well-earned and a CV in European football which clearly displays his qualities. We are delighted to welcome him and are confident he will make a significant contribution to the first-team group this season.” [via wba.co.uk]
Unfortunately, that latter sentence proved to be the kiss of death from Williams, who was sacked from his position six months later. Krychowiak played in 27 Premier League games for West Brom that season, starting 20, but he did not manage a single goal as the Baggies finished rock bottom of the table. Indeed, only one of his 20 league starts ended in victory, with the Polish midfielder only getting token minutes as a substitute in the ultimately fruitless late season revival under Darren Moore. [via TransferMarkt]
He averaged only 0.6 shots and 0.5 key passes per game, while his match average of one successful header was the lowest he has recorded in a league season in his career (as per WhoScored). Arguably his standout contribution from the season was when he took aim at then-PSG manager Unai Emery over feeling deceived by the future Arsenal boss over a lack of game-time in the French capital.
Krychowiak may not have cost West Brom a transfer fee but his ineffective performances characterised a miserable season for the Baggies and certainly did not live up to what he had shown at club and international level in previous years. Birmingham Live writer Brian Dick gave the unflattering view that “many Baggies supporters will recall a breathtakingly underwhelming season at The Hawthorns in which is performances fell far short of expectations”.
Was Grzegorz Krychowiak the worst signing of West Brom's relegation season?
Only a few weeks after that disastrous season ended, the midfielder was on target for Poland in their World Cup game against Senegal, sparking disbelief among many Albion supporters who had never been able to cheer a goal from Krychowiak in their club’s colours.
Astounding as it may seem to The Hawthorns faithful, the 30-year-old has been prolific for Lokomotiv Moscow this season, scoring 10 times in 27 games along with providing five assists. If those were the sort of figures that Baggies fans expected of him when he arrived in West Bromwich, they would be left sorely disappointed by the 69-cap Poland international.
West Brom fans, did you expect a lot more out of Krychowiak in his one season at the club? Have your say by commenting below!
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