West Brom supporters in the Transfer Tavern are somewhat looking forward to the new era at their football club following the appointment of Darren Moore as the new Baggies manager last month.
The ex-centre back took over at the Hawthorns on a caretaker basis back in April following the sacking of Alan Pardew, and had six games to try and pull off the impossible by keeping the Baggies in the Premier League. And while he won three and drew two of those games, it wasn’t enough to prevent the Midlands outfit from slipping down into the Championship, with West Brom eventually finishing bottom with just 31 points from their 38 league games.
Nonetheless, there are many upbeat and positive Baggies supporters in the Tavern at present, although they are unlikely to be overly thrilled by recent reports linking defender Craig Dawson with a move to top-flight outfit Burnley.
However, given the financial difficulties gripping fellow Midlands side Aston Villa, the Baggies could find their ideal replacement for the linked-away star in the form of £7.2 million-rated ace James Chester (as per Transfermarkt), formerly of the Baggies.
The centre back spent a season at the Hawthorns in 2015/16 but struggled to command regular football under Tony Pulis, earning just 19 appearances over the course of the campaign, 14 of which were starts.
And while that stint may be of concern to some of our resident West Brom fans, they only need to look at his efforts this time round for Steve Bruce’s Villa to know that he would be a great choice to replace Dawson in the heart of their backline.
The 29-year-old was excellent for the Villans this term in starting all 49 games of their Championship campaign, helping Bruce’s side to one of the best defensive records in the division, but ultimately unable to inspire them to a return to the Premier League.
Nonetheless, it’s clear from his endeavours in the centre of the Villa defence that Chester has what it takes to succeed in the upper reaches of the Championship, and with the Baggies eyeing up an immediate return to the top-flight, the Wales international could be an invaluable addition.
And he’d be an addition they could really do with if Dawson does indeed leave for Burnley, as the 28-year-old was a rare shining light in an otherwise disastrous campaign for West Brom this term, and as such his departure would leave a gaping hole in the heart of Moore’s defence.
But with Villa struggling financially and likely needing to sell this summer, as well as Chester proving his worth as a second tier centre back this season, the Baggies must seek to re-sign the 29-year-old, two years after leaving the Hawthorns, as the ideal replacement for linked-away Dawson.
West Brom fans… what do you think? Let us know!