West Brom supporters have been pretty upbeat in recent times after seeing their side head into the current two-week break for internationals off the back of a Championship victory.
Darren Moore’s men had made a sluggish start to the 2018/19 campaign in failing to win either of their opening two games, before recording back-to-back successes over Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers to get their season going. And while they went down 1-0 at Middlesbrough on August 24, they got back to winning ways in their most recent encounter by edging past Stoke City 2-1 at the Hawthorns.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Baggies fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have used the two-week break for internationals to look back at their team’s summer business, which saw quite an overhaul of the playing squad at the Midlands outfit.
And one man who left the club, and returned with Stoke last time out, was winger James McClean, and while there were some eyebrows raised when they sold him to the Potters for £5.04 million (as per Transfermarkt), by replacing him with youngster Harvey Barnes, the Baggies appear to have pulled off a masterstroke with the deals involving the two wingers.
Ultimately, 29-year-old McClean was a decent servant for West Brom during his three-year stint at the Hawthorns, but in 112 appearances for the club, he managed to score just five goals and laid on only seven assists, which equated to a direct contribution every 523 minutes.
Clearly, those numbers aren’t particularly great which is why receiving £5.04 million for the winger doesn’t appear to be particularly bad business – and given Leicester winger Barnes has hit the ground running since his loan move to the Hawthorns, selling McClean is looking better by the day.
The 20-year-old came up through the youth ranks at the King Power Stadium but has only gone on to make six senior appearances for the Foxes, with the early stages of his career dominated by loan spells down the EFL.
And in excelling for Championship side Barnsley last season, netting five goals and laying on five assists for the Tykes, he clearly underlined his capabilities in the second tier, thus prompting Moore’s West Brom to take him on loan this term.
And that is proving to be a very shrewd decision indeed given Barnes has scored twice in six league appearances for the Baggies, while he also has an assist to his name in their run to third round of the Carabao Cup – it has been a magnificent start to life at the Hawthorns.
And having not spent a transfer fee on the winger, yet receiving £5.04 million from Stoke for McClean, the Baggies appear to have not only profited financially from replacing the latter with Barnes, but also on the field as well.
In fact, they seem to have pulled off a masterstroke replacing McClean, albeit temporarily, with the Leicester youngster.
West Brom fans… what do you think? Let us know!