Championship

Profit Players: Jay Rodriguez

Profit Players: Jay Rodriguez

West Brom supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their team’s nine-match unbeaten run in the Championship come to an end on New Year’s Day.

Darren Moore’s men went into their encounter with Blackburn Rovers having won six and drawn the other three of their preceding nine league games, having not tasted defeat since their 1-0 reverse at the hands of Hull City back on November 3. Yet their impressive unbeaten run came to a disappointing end in Lancashire on Tuesday as goals from Charlie Mulgrew and Bradley Dack inspired Tony Mowbray’s side to a 2-1 win at Ewood Park, thus seeing the Baggies slip to fourth place in the Championship table.

Thus, there have been many despondent West Brom fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are hoping their side can continue in their quest for a return to the Premier League this term after a summer of shrewd transfer business.

In fact, the club’s hierarchy were praised by many during the close season for the deals they struck, just like they were back in 2017 when they sealed a £12.33 million deal (as per Transfermarkt) for Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez.

And while the Englishman wasn’t able to inspire the Baggies to safety last term, he has more than proven his worth so far this time round, which pales into contrast the issues Southampton are having in the final third of the field to suggest that Moore’s men are the only beneficiaries from the Saints’ surprising decision to let him leave.

Ultimately, the 29-year-old made the move to St Mary’s back in 2012 and certainly delivered the goods for much of his five-year spell on the South Coast, to the point that he earned his one and only England cap back in 2013 thanks to his efforts for the Saints.

And while the final few seasons of his time at the club were wrecked by injury, he still managed five goals in 24 Premier League games under Claude Puel in the 2016/17 campaign to suggest that he had a role to play, only for new boss Mauricio Pellegrino to decide otherwise and sanction his departure to West Brom for £12.33 million.

And while the Baggies didn’t benefit hugely from his arrival last term, albeit he finished the season strongly to eventually end up with 11 goals in all competitions, they are certainly reaping the rewards this time round given the 29-year-old has netted 13 goals in just 26 Championship appearances for Moore’s side, sitting joint-top of the goal-scoring charts alongside Dwight Gayle.

And with the Baggies the top goal-scorers in the Championship with 54 goals from their 26 games this term, it’s clear that Rodriguez is set to play a vital part in whatever success the Midlanders go on to have this term – his form will likely have a bearing on whether they do indeed return to the top-flight this season.

So while a move for the 29-year-old didn’t immediately pay dividends for the Baggies, it certainly is now, while things at Southampton haven’t exactly improved following Rodriguez’s departure, with the Saints only narrowly avoiding relegation last time round.

And with goals appearing to be a problem at St Mary’s, the decision to sell the one-time England international is looking more and more like a shocker, and one that only West Brom themselves are benefitting from.

West Brom and Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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