Throughout the entirety of the window, one of the last things I expected to see would have been anyone attempting to leave the Paris giants as they look likely to repeat as Ligue 1 and also likely to make a lengthy Champions League run. However, the current captain of the Uruguayan national team and one of the premier defenders in the world has left the French fold and is headed to West Brom and the EPL.
Diego Lugano has long been one of my favorite defenders in the game. Although his international performances have always seemed a step above his club output, there is no doubt that West Brom and the EPL have gained a great player. Considering how adept Steve Clarke was at the helm of West Brom last season, it will be amazing to see if he can maintain another top ten finish. Considering they have only lost Lukaku, the possibility is there.
Also going under the radar was Nicolas Anelka’s return to the EPL by way of West Brom as well! If there is any small club likely to be a big player in the league this season then it seems increasingly likely that it is going to be West Brom. The only possible reason that they should suffer a huge drop off would be that teams are going to be doubly prepared for them this season in contrast to last season.
As a huge fan of the EPL, it always makes me supremely happy when big name players find their path leading them to the Premier League. If these two small (but HUGE) signings push West Brom back into the top ten AGAIN, then we might start seeing a bit of a small power building. It does not seem like they would become a top-four challenger anytime soon (or ever, really), but they could definitely become a team that is constantly in the top ten of the league.
Plus, how could you not root for Steve Clarke? And it is always fun to have some of the smaller EPL clubs pushing up against the big guys! If you are going to be watching the Premier League this fall, keep an eye out for West Brom and their campaign…if it is half as successful as their transfer dealings, it will certainly make for some great TV.