Futballupdate ranks the Baggies three signings from the summer transfer window.
As the summer transfer window slammed shut on the 1st September, West Bromwich Albion were able to bring in three new additions to bolster Carlos Corberan’s squad.
Due to the Baggies’ perilous financial situation after taking out a £20 million loan from MSD Holdings, the club were only able to recruit players on free transfers and loan deals, but they did impress with their recruitment despite the adversity.
|West Brom – 2023/24 Signings
Exciting Columbian international Jeremy Sarmiento was the first player through the door on a season-long loan from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion, while former Huddersfield Town full-back Pipa reunited with Corberan for the third time on loan from Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets.
The only permanent signing made by the Black Country outfit was ex-Sunderland striker Josh Maja, who arrived after the expiration of his contract at Ligue 2 side Bordeaux.
To be able to fund the incomings and balance the books, nine players from the senior setup departed this summer with a host of experienced heads leaving the group.
|West Brom – 2023/24 Departures
|Permanent (fee involved)
Former club captain Dara O’Shea’s move to Burnley was the standout exit of the window, with a reported £7m fee stabilising the club for the short-term future.
Kean Bryan and Tom Rogic moved on to pastures new after miserable spells in the West Midlands, while Jake Livermore ended a six-and-a-half-year stint at the Hawthorns to team back up with former Baggies boss Valerien Ismael at Watford.
Experienced goalkeeper David Button was another to move on to EFL outfit Reading alongside Karlan Grant, who has made the temporary switch to South Wales and Cardiff City for the season.
A host of youngsters were also moved out from the Hawthorns in the transfer window, with Taylor Gardner-Hickman, Zac Ashworth, Ethan Ingram and Jamie Andrews gaining EFL experience with Bristol City, Bolton Wanderers, Salford City and Grimsby Town respectively.
After a hectic end to the transfer window for the second-tier side, Football League World ranks West Brom’s three new signings from this summer.
In at number three is full-back Pipa, who arrives for his second stint in the Championship under Corberan after enjoying a two-and-a-half year stay in West Yorkshire until February 2023.
The 25-year-old was part of the Terriers squad who went on to reach the play-off final in the 2021/22 campaign, but they were edged out of promotion back to the Premier League by Nottingham Forest.
Despite missing the majority of that season with a groin injury, the former Spanish youth international worked his way back into the first-team picture for the crucial final run-in and was an integral part of the side as they finished strongly to secure a third-place finish.
Following Corberan’s resignation from his Huddersfield post in July 2022, Pipa followed the 40-year-old to Greek giants Olympiacos, but both made a swift exit when the Spanish coach was sacked after just 11 games in charge.
After making just 19 appearances in Bulgaria for Ludogorets, Pipa has teamed up for the third time with Corberan as he looks to add quality and fresh competition to the Baggies backline.
With Pipa comfortable playing at both right and left-back, the likes of Darnell Furlong and Conor Townsend will need to continually impress to keep their places, with the pair going unchallenged in recent years due to a lack of depth in that area.
In addition, his attacking-minded nature can only be seen as a positive in the Corberan system, with his willingness to take up advanced positions and create chances for the forward line a big asset to have in the side.
Matched with his knowledge of the Championship and experience of being in a promotion-contending team, Pipa could be seen as a real coup of a signing.
2. Jeremy Sarmiento
In second spot is winger Jeremy Sarmiento, who joins West Brom for the first loan spell of his career from Brighton.
The 21-year-old has shown glimpses of his flair after cameos off the bench for the Seagulls, with a standout contribution coming against Bournemouth in April 2023 where he provided the assist for Kaoru Mitoma’s winning goal.
Towards the back end of last season, the Columbian suffered a metatarsal fracture, and Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi sanctioned the loan move for Sarmiento to regain his fitness after a lengthy lay off, saying: “For us, after the last injury last season, I think he needs to play 30, 35 games in a row.”
Seeking regular game time, the exciting prospect has headed to the Hawthorns for the campaign as he looks to dazzle the Albion faithful and get them off their seats with excitement.
Sarmiento is another arrival to bring immense versatility to the group, with the forward able to play on both flanks and through the middle as a 10, which will stand the Baggies in good stead throughout the long journey that the Championship brings.
With his direct approach when taking on defenders, the Madrid-born attacker will look to beat them with impressive skill and use the space created to tally up plenty of goals and assists on a consistent basis to fire the Black Country outfit into promotion contention.
With 14 appearances in the Premier League registered on his already impressive CV, Sarmiento will be looking to showcase his talent on a bigger scale in the second tier and add consistency to his game with runs of consecutive starts.
1. Josh Maja
Topping the ranking is Nigerian international Josh Maja, who arrives at the Hawthorns off the back of a positive season in front of goal for Ligue 2 outfit Bordeaux, where he netted 16 times in 38 games.
The London-born striker gathered attention during his spell at Sunderland in League One, scoring an impressive 15 goals in 24 matches for the Black Cats, as well as having a short stint in the Premier League with Fulham.
The main concern among Albion supporters will be about Maja’s last spell in the Championship for Stoke City back in January 2022, where he managed just one goal from 15 matches in a forgettable campaign.
Despite West Brom’s resurgence under Corberan at the back end of last season to get into play-off contention, the lack of a potent goal scorer severely damaged their chances of making it in to the top six, with Brandon Thomas-Asante their top scorer with just seven league goals.
Maja is seen as a poacher in front of goal but is also keen to combine in the build-up play and be in the right place to finish off dangerous moves.
After reigniting his touch in front of goal, the 24-year-old will be aiming to embrace the pressure and be the missing component to Albion’s plethora of attacking talent.