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Bruce can finally replace Gallagher as West Brom eye move for "outrageous" £7m wizard - opinion

Football FanCast logo Football FanCast 14/05/2022 James Thompson
Lai Guochuan, WBA, WBA News, West Brom, West Brom news, West Brom update, West Bromwich Albion, Hawthorns, Baggies, Championship, Championship news, Steve Bruce, Transfer Focus, Reading, Chelsea, Conor Gallagher, John Swift, West Brom transfer, West Brom transfer news, © Provided by Football FanCast Lai Guochuan, WBA, WBA News, West Brom, West Brom news, West Brom update, West Bromwich Albion, Hawthorns, Baggies, Championship, Championship news, Steve Bruce, Transfer Focus, Reading, Chelsea, Conor Gallagher, John Swift, West Brom transfer, West Brom transfer news,

West Bromwich Albion failed in their first attempt to make it out of the Championship and back into the Premier League following last year’s relegation.

In their 46 league games this season, the Baggies won 18, drawn 13 and lost 15 along the way under the management of firstly Valerien Ismael and then Steve Bruce.

One factor which has been a big disappointment for Albion at times in the 2021/22 campaign was their ability to score and create goals. Only four other clubs, three of which were relegated, had a lower rate of goals and assists per 90 minutes than West Brom this season.

A player that the Baggies had in their ranks in 2020/21 who could have fixed this issue is Conor Gallagher. After spending that season on loan at the Midlands club, the Chelsea midfielder found himself loaned out again this term.

With 31 league appearances under his belt for Crystal Palace, the Englishman has scored eight goals and provided three assists along the way.

This suggests that, had the Baggies been able to keep hold of the 22-year-old, he could have improved their attack and possibly given them a better chance of securing promotion.

Now that the summer transfer window is close to opening, one figure that Albion could look to sign as a potential replacement for Gallagher and could make them a deadlier team in front of goal is John Swift.

Last month, it was reported that the Midlands club are eyeing up a summer move for the Reading midfielder, who like Gallagher is a product of Chelsea’s youth system.

His current contract is set to expire in June, and Berkshire Live reported this week that his club are due to meet with the player’s representatives in the coming days to discuss his future and try to secure a new deal for him with the Royals, amid reports that West Brom are ‘optimistic’ of luring him to the Midlands.

During his time with Reading, the 26-year-old has scored 34 goals and delivered 38 assists, showing how much of an attacking and creative threat he can be. To further highlight how dangerous a player he is, no other Royals player had more crosses (213) or shots on target (30) than the Englishman.

Having been praised by journalist Charles Watts for an “outrageous” goal he scored in 2019, Swift reportedly had a price tag of £7m. However, with his current contract due to expire next month, the Baggies may not have to worry about splashing out to sign him.

Taking all this into account, adding the Reading star to their ranks should be at the top of Bruce’s priority list for the summer transfer window.

In other news – Ashworth howler: West Brom had a transfer nightmare on “top-class” £120k-p/w “genius”

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