West Brom Transfer Focus - Toivonen targeted as Lukaku replacement
West Brom have shown interest in PSV Eindhoven striker Ola Toivonen. The Sweden international, who was forced to spend a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a torn hamstring suffered late in 2012, saw only around half a season of action for PSV. He is currently itching for a move away from PSV, and according to the Birmingham Mail, West Brom are interested in bringing him to The Hawthorns.
With newly-announced Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho declaring his desire to keep Romelu Lukaku at Stamford Bridge this coming season, West Brom manager Steve Clarke is sure to be looking into the market for a new striker. What doesn’t help West Brom is the fact that unhappy forward Peter Odemwingie is expected to leave the club, leaving Shane Long as the only senior striker in the club. Even that isn’t too reassuring either, with Long only scoring eight goals in 34 appearances last season.
Lukaku will be missed at West Brom, with his 17 goals helping the side secure a top 10 finish in the Premier League. Clarke will be hoping that Toivonen can stay injury free, as well as score goals consistently as has done in the Eredivisie, to help the Baggies secure a top 10 spot again and push for a European place.
Toivonen managed eight goals in just 17 games this campaign before suffering that nasty hamstring injury. In the 2011/12 campaign, Toivonen netted 18 times in 33 appearances, a strike rate fitting for any club. He has helped PSV finish in the top three for the past four seasons, including a second place finish behind Ajax this season.
The fiery striker, known to clash with match officials during tense games, would provide the Baggies with a lot of firepower and determination up front. Toivonen is powerful in the air, and has tremendous accuracy with his head. He has scored numerous goals from set plays and balls crossed into the middle, something that is constantly seen in the Premier League. He has good strength, just like Lukaku, and his smooth ball control would be excellent for West Brom when they swing from defence into attack.
Toivonen was hailed as the new Ibrahimovic some years ago, but struggled to live up to that expectation, but linking up with Ibra in the Swedish national side can help Toivonen improve his game, something that will be very useful if the Baggies are able to capture his signature.
The Birmingham Mail claims: “Albion’s scouting staff have been searching far and wide for this summer’s targets - long before last season ended.” InsideFutbol adds: “Toivonen is understood to be ready to move to England, should the right offer present itself.”
An injury-free Toivonen would be useful for any side, but it is vital for West Brom to sign him come the new season as a capable replacement for Lukaku, as the Baggies push for European football.
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