Joseph Masi and Luke Hatfield discussed all of the latest West Bromwich Albion news on the most recent edition of The Express and Star’s Baggies Broadcast podcast and during the show, Masi spent some time talking about Branislav Ivanovic, who joined the Baggies on a free transfer in the summer transfer window.
Ivanovic has played in most of West Brom’s Premier League games since joining them but despite featuring for the club regularly, it may be fair to say that he hasn’t been one of the West Midlands club’s best performers this term, with the Serb earning an overall WhoScored rating of just 6.33 from his seven Premier League appearances for the Baggies, which is a lower rating than as many as 14 other West Brom players have been given by the stats website.
Following the sacking of Slaven Bilic on Wednesday, Masi cast some doubt on the 36-year-old’s future at The Hawthorns during this podcast after admitting that though he initially thought Ivanovic was a good signing, he now believes the defender is not good enough.
Masi said: “I have to admit, after a game or two, I thought he was a fantastic signing. Now, I mean, I think it’s gone beyond question marks,” before he went on to deliver a concerning five-word verdict on the player’s current state, claiming: “His legs have completely gone.”
The journalist followed that up by casting some doubt on the player’s future at The Hawthorns, saying: “I don’t massively know where Ivanovic’s career goes from here, to be honest, his Albion career.”
Do you think Ivanovic will come good?
TIF Thoughts on what Masi had to say about Ivanovic…
Perhaps it’s understandable why Masi initially thought that Ivanovic, who is West Brom’s fourth-highest earner, per Spotrac, would prove to be a good signing for West Brom, given that you could argue his first Premier League appearance for the Baggies was also his best one.
Ivanovic earned a WhoScored rating of 7.46 for his first top-flight West Brom appearance, which is by far the highest rating he’s earned for any performance at the club. However, his performance levels have waned over time and he earned his two lowest WhoScored ratings as a West Brom player in his last two appearances for the Baggies.
As a result, maybe Masi’s criticism of the 36-year-old is understandable and it will be interesting to see if Bilic’s successor, Sam Allardyce, can get Ivanovic playing at a similar level as he was early on in the season. If he fails to do so, then perhaps doubts should be raised about his Albion future.