Championship

West Bromwich Albion: Slaven Bilic believes attacker can make the difference

West Bromwich Albion: Slaven Bilic believes attacker can make the difference

Slaven Bilic believes that Matheus Pereira can make the difference for the Baggies this season following his loan move from Sporting CP.

The loanee has been involved in West Brom’s last two goals in the Championship, with his nutmeg allowing Filip Krovinovic to win a penalty against Reading before winning a penalty himself against Derby County (via Express and Star).

West Brom have a clause in the loan deal that will make his move to the Hawthorns permanent if the winger makes a certain amount of appearances for £9m (via Express and Star).

Pereira added depth to what was a depleted West Brom squad upon Bilic’s arrival as manager. Dwight Gayle returned to parent club Newcastle United, Jay Rodriguez made a return to hometown club Burnley, while Harvey Barnes had his loan spell cut short last season as he returned to Leicester City. The trio combined for more than 50 goals in the Championship last season (via WhoScored).

That left the club with just three senior wingers this summer, Hal Robson-Kanu, Oliver Burke and Matt Phillips. While Matt Phillips enjoyed a good campaign last season, scoring five goals and assisting a further seven, Robson-Kanu and Burke endured disastrous campaigns. The Welsh attacker contributed just four goals across 35 Championship games, meanwhile, Burke featured in just six games before a January loan move to Celtic.

Due to numerous factors, Pereira is the perfect wide option to provide an attacking threat that was lost in abundance last season. The Brazilian’s statistics from last season highlighted his key strengths. Pereira dribbled more than 2 times per game, being fouled 2.5 times per game, more than any other West Brom player in both aspects of attacking play.

Slaven Bilic lost key players in the summer, and his excitement over the impact of Pereira is completely warranted after the 23-year-old’s season last campaign and his impact off the bench in his last two appearances so far this season.

Can he be a big player? Join the discussion by commenting below… 

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