West Brom struggled for goals last season. Despite their resurgence at the end of their campaign, they could only manage 31 goals all season, and crashed out of the Premier League. Darren Moore knows this is an area that must be addressed.
Almost half of West Brom’s Premier League goals were scored by Jay Rodriguez and Salomon Rondon last season. While Rodriguez is staying, the big Venezuelan has been loaned to Newcastle in a swap with Dwight Gayle. This means West Brom have a new goal threat, and partner to Rodriguez, in a hope to solve last season’s problems.
West Brom cannot solely rely on Rodriguez this year, and that is why Gayle must start this weekend. The Midlands club are running thin on the ground when it comes to attackers, and must use the best players at their disposal. While Hal Robson-Kanu remains at the club, the Welsh forward could only manage two goals last season, and Darren Moore may not want to rely on him as a starter.
Gayle – valued at £9m by Transfermarkt – offers a different threat to Rondon. His pace and elusiveness makes him a danger to any defence, and after bagging 23 goals and a place in the Championship team of the season two years ago, he is a proven success in the league.
West Brom are now left with a potent attack for the 2018/19 season. Off the back of a successful World Cup, Nacer Chadli could be utilised as a winger, creating a promising partnership with Rodriguez and Gayle. However, whether they can keep hold of the Belgian is yet to be seen.
If West Brom do not want to suffer the same fate as Sunderland did last season, they need to correct their mistakes, and Gayle looks like the man to do that.