This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
This summer could prove to be one of the smartest in West Brom’s recent transfer history as they attempt to return to the Premier League. Indeed, the club added a raft of attacking talent, but more crucially they added Romaine Sawyers, who provides a sense of stability in the middle of the park.
The 27-year-old joined the Midlands side for a minimal fee believed to be £3m from Championship rivals Brentford (via Sky Sports), and the Bees may live to rue the sale after the midfielder’s start to the season.
His signing was praised by former Leeds United man turned pundit Noel Whelan, who believes the Baggies got the central midfielder for a very good price.
He said: “£3million I think is the fee. It’s a snip, an absolute snip. He’s a good age, experience in the Championship, he’s a ballplayer, he’s a big strong boy as well.”
“West Brom once again have done their homework and are signing a very, very good player. £3million, it’s nothing, it’s absolutely nothing.” (Source: Football Insider)
Last season, ball retention in the middle of the park wasn’t the best, and Sawyers has improved that right away. In the 2018/19 season, defender Allan Nyom had the highest average pass accuracy with 85.9% (via WhoScored). Just eight games into the new Championship season and the former Brentford man is already averaging over 90%.
Sawyers also has the ability to keep the ball moving in the middle of the park. Throughout the whole of last season, defender Craig Dawson averaged the most passes per game with 48.4 per game, a figure trumped by more than 14 passes by Sawyers so far this campaign.
The Birmingham-born player has also shown his ability to shield the back four, averaging the fourth most tackles of any player in Slaven Bilic’s squad.
If Sawyers can maintain his high standard of performance, he will be a crucial player at The Hawthorns in trying to achieve promotion and all the riches that came with it. In fact, an article from Consultancy.uk posted in June actually pinpointed the worth of entry to the top flight of English football as £170m, potentially making this £3m buy look like even more of a steal.
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