According to a recent report from The Express and Star, West Brom are interested in a loan move for defender Joel Ward. The 28-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Crystal Palace and has done so since 2012, although the Englishman almost left Selhurst Park earlier in the summer at the expiration of his contract, only to sign a new three-year deal with Roy Hodgson’s side.
Yet failing to feature in their 2-0 opening day win over Fulham has raised doubts about his short-term future at the London-based club, doubts Darren Moore and West Brom are reportedly seeking to exploit in their quest to upgrade upon current number one right back Allan Nyom.
And doing so with the reliable Ward could turn out to be a transfer masterstroke.
Ultimately, 30-year-old Nyom has been at the Hawthorns since leaving Watford back in 2016 but has never really convinced of his capabilities at right back, although he has managed 67 appearances for the Baggies in the last two years, 29 of which coming in their disastrous relegation campaign last time round.
And while he has started two of their opening three Championship games this term, and indeed grabbed an assist in their opening day defeat to Bolton Wanderers, manager Moore remains reportedly keen on a right back, and he could do a lot worse than upgrade on Nyom in the form of £4.5 million-rated Ward (as per Transfermarkt).
The 28-year-old has been a stalwart at Palace since making the move from Portsmouth back in 2012, with the right back going on to appear 206 times for the Eagles during his six-year stint, 163 appearances of which coming in the Premier League.
And while he appeared in all 38 of their league games back in the 2016/17 campaign, injury thwarted the Englishman last season and even jeopardised his future at Selhurst Park, as has the emergence of fellow right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was excellent at Craven Cottage on Saturday to keep Ward firmly rooted to the substitute’s bench.
Yet one mustn’t forget that the Englishman has been hugely consistent throughout his time at Palace both in defensive terms and indeed going forward, while his 111 Championship appearances underline that he has genuine experience of the second tier, as well as what it takes to get out of it having won promotion with Palace back in 2013 – after all, it wasn’t too long ago he was being touted for an England call-up in some quarters.
Thus, it seems pretty clear that the accomplished and reliable Ward would be an obvious upgrade on current first-choice Nyom, and as such would surely strengthen a West Brom side that have picked up four points from their first three league matches – it could prove to be a transfer masterstroke in their bid to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
As such, Moore and the club’s hierarchy must seek to get a deal done for the Palace defender this month.
West Brom fans… what do you think? Let us know!