With the news that West Brom are giving a trial to midfielder Wes Hoolahan, with the possibility of signing him, questions have to be asked about what is going on at the club with this bizarre decision.
Hoolahan left Norwich this summer after ten years at the club and over 350 appearances. At the age of 36, he was not part of the plans at Carrow Road and moved on.
In similar circumstances earlier this summer, West Brom let midfielder Claudio Yacob leave at the end of his contract after six seasons and over 150 appearances for The Baggies.
The Argentinian is five years younger than the Irishman Hoolahan, so it seems utterly peculiar that they would decide to let one player go, whilst signing another that is much older.
Admittedly, the two players are different style midfielders. Yacob is a tenacious, bullish defensive midfielder, whereas Hoolahan (valued at £900k on Transfermarkt.co.uk) is a playmaking attacking midfielder. But while The Maggies are indeed well stocked with defensive midfielders, they still have a fair few options in attacking midfield as well. Harvey Barnes has been utilised in that role this season, and Jay Rodriguez is another player that could occupy that role. Hoolahan would likely be behind those two at least in the pecking order.
The only thing that may have happened is that Yacob still has ambitions of frequently starting in the Championship, whereas Hoolahan would be content with a bit part role. If that were the case, then fair enough. But it also seems strange, therefore, that Yacob would chose to join Nottingham Forest, who are even more well equipped with defensive midfielders.
It may actually just be a case of West Brom signing a player for the sake of it, believing that he will contribute something to the squad with all of his experience.
Ultimately, we may not be able to understand the rationale of Darren Moore and the officials at West Brom, but that does not stop this being a bizarre bit of business.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!