According to Sky Sports, West Brom winger Nacer Chadli is on the verge of a £10m move to Ligue 1 challengers Monaco. It was a deal that everyone saw coming, and should have been done much sooner.
The Belgian midfielder joined The Baggies from Tottenham in 2016 for what was a club record £13m. After a very successful first season, an injury-ravaged second season meant he barely appeared at The Hawthorns, as West Brom were relegated.
Despite his persistent injuries throughout the 2017/18 season, Chadli (valued at £13.5m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) still made Belgium’s World Cup squad, where he shined for Roberto Martinez’s side. His winner in the last 16 against Japan was a highlight for the former Tottenham man, but it also became abundantly clear during the World Cup that West Brom would not be able to keep hold of him.
This is why it was so foolish not to have sold him earlier than they did. He has not featured under manager Darren Moore so far this season, further fuelling speculation that he was leaving. To have a player in the camp that is clearly not going to play throughout the coming season will definitely have created a negative atmosphere amongst the players. His attitude would probably not have been of the standard expected, and that would be contagious to other players.
It’s not only the divisive element which makes this move by West Brom so foolish, it’s the fact that they will not have the time or opportunity to replace him. Although there is still another day left for the EFL loan transfer window, West Brom will struggle to replace him at such short notice.
Furthermore, if they sold him before August, they would have had the time to search for a player, and the money to buy him. In reality, they may need to wait until January to fill the space he has left; this could be too far down the road in the club’s season.
Ultimately, it is good that West Brom will get something from a player that was clearly not going to play for them this season, but they will surely regret the timing of it.