Another new face has been welcomed into the Hawthorns door and more are expected. As the club prepare for the new Premiership campaign, Roberto Di Matteo has encouraged the club to sign more targets to enhance his current squad.
Nicky Shorey has completed his move from local rivals Aston Villa, providing competition for Marek Cech and Joe Mattock. The England international has been linked to the Baggies since the end of the last season, after being frozen out under Martin O’Neill. The left back has had plenty of Premier League experience and with his pre-season up to scratch before joining he is expected to start at left-back on Saturday. He has also experienced coming up from the Championship and surviving in the Premiership with Reading, which earned him recognition from a wide range of top managers including the current West Brom manager.
Di Matteo spoke of his delight at welcoming him into the Hawthorns. “He’s an experienced, solid, reliable left-back who likes to get forward and get involved,” he said. “I also like the fact he’s English and knows what the Premier League is all about. He’s a player I’ve liked for some time. I’ve very much signed Nicky to compete for the left-back position and I have some good options down that flank as Marek can also play further forward.”
Shorey spoke of his delight at joining a great squad and looked forward to a possible debut with Chelsea.“We have a young hungry team here at Albion,” he said. “They did really well to be promoted last season and I think they have some exciting talent. If we can stay up I am sure they will blossom. We know Chelsea is always a difficult match but it is definitely something to look forward to and I can’t wait for the game.”
There is expected to be a continued trend of new signings heading into to the Birmingham club, as they look to establish themselves in the Premiership . One man who is expected to sign before the transfer window is Mark Wilson. Portsmouth have already rejected a £2m offer and a deal is expected to be negotiated, due to the south coast’s club financial state. The Irishman can play across the defence but is expected to play alongside Youssouf Mulumbu in a 4-2-3-1 formation, if his services can be acquired.
The club have also been linked with a number of strikers following a visible lack of firepower and goals going into the new season. A permanent deal for Jason Roberts and a loan deal for David N’Gog seem unlikely now, as a deal for Bosnian born striker Denni Avdic looks likely. The Elfsborg striker has been attracting a number of clubs across Europe, with England his favoured destination. Two million pounds is likely to be the amount to take the Swedish under 21 international to the Hawthorns.
With David N’gog likely to be a key member in the Liverpool’s first team, the Frenchman seems to be unlikely to feature in a Baggies shirt despite reports to the contrary. However two strikers coming in to the club is Di Matteo’s main priority, “N’gog is a player we’ve been linked with and we are working on that one,” said the Italian. “We’re trying. It’s ongoing. We are looking at a number of players we would like to sign.” N’gog has scored three of the Anfield’s club four goals during the new Reds boss Roy Hodgson’s reign, and has stated he is not looking to leave.
No new deals are expected to be completed by Saturday, when last year’s double winning side host West Brom at Stamford Bridge. However the transfers are expected to be completed by the Carling cup trip away to NPower League One side Leyton Orient on August 24.