Joseph Masi and Luke Hatfield have been discussing all things relating to Slaven Bilic’s sacking during the latest edition of The Express and Star’s Baggies Broadcast podcast and Masi spent some time discussing the impact West Bromwich Albion’s summer transfer business had on the Croat’s standing amongst the club’s decision-makers.
During this podcast, Masi revealed some details on the reasons behind Bilic’s sacking and he shared that the club’s summer transfer business was one of the main determining factors behind the Croat’s dismissal.
The journalist said: “It’s that record, it’s that one win in 17 league games, it’s the 10 wins in 2020, it’s the fact that they are conceding a lot of goals and it’s the fact that there are massive, massive question marks over what he has done with that money. Managers live and die by their recruitment.
“Bilic spent a lot of money, a lot of the budget went on Grady [Diangana], who’s struggled so far, although I do think he was good at [Manchester] City. A lot of the money went on Karlan Grant, who’s struggled. Bilic really, really wanted Ivanovic and he’s been poor, hasn’t he?”
Was Bilic given enough backing in the summer transfer market?
TIF Thoughts on what Masi had to say about Bilic’s recruitment…
Per Transfermarkt, West Brom had a higher net transfer spend than as many as seven other Premier League clubs in the summer transfer window. However, their squad’s market value remains by far the lowest in the league, so perhaps this suggests that the quality of West Brom’s squad is not of the required standard despite their summer spending.
Most of the club’s money in the summer transfer window went on signing Karlan Grant from Championship side Huddersfield Town and on signing the duo of Matheus Pereira and Grady Diangana permanently – after both had spent the 2019/20 season on loan at The Hawthorns in the Championship.
Given that these three men had previously been playing at Championship level, perhaps it would be fair to criticise the Baggies for spending so much money and, thus, pinning so much of their hopes on them to be able to step up to the Premier League.
While it would be unfair to put the blame for the Baggies’ poor start to the campaign solely on these three players’ shoulders, it’s clear from the money that the club spent to sign them that they’d been expected to perform a major role this term and as is evident by the club’s poor record, they’ve not been able to help Albion too much.
However, if the Baggies’ summer recruitment was deemed to have not been up to scratch by the club’s decision-makers, then we feel that the blame for that shouldn’t have been solely placed on the manager as you could certainly argue that sporting and technical director Luke Dowling and the club’s recruitment staff have just as much to answer for.
Additionally, as Bilic’s last game as Baggies boss saw him guide his side to a 1-1 draw versus Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, perhaps you could also argue that he was getting the best out of a side lacking top-level quality, as Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling has suggested.