West Brom return to the loan market on deadline day to bolster their squad as they continue their promotion push. Having already benefited from short term transfers acquired in the summer, The Baggies added three more loan signings to their ranks. Jacob Murphy follows in the successful footsteps of Newcastle teammate Dwight Gayle, making the switch from Teeside to the Midlands. Whilst Jefferson Montero and Stefan Johansen also made the jump to West Brom from Swansea and Fulham respectively.
West Brom Return to the Loan Market
Swansea outcast Jefferson Montero was the first of the Baggies’ haul. The 29-year-old Ecuadorian joined the Swans in the summer of 2014 and made 66 Premier League appearances over three seasons. Almost half of his Premier League appearances came in his first season as he featured in 30 games for Swansea. His appearances dwindled over the following seasons as he struggled to maintain his place in the side.
Montero spent last season on loan in Spain with Getafe. But the winger rarely featured for the La Liga side making just four appearances. This season began with a forgettable loan spell in Italy before returning to Swansea with a hamstring problem.
The acquisition of Jefferson Montero has added an extra dimension to Darren Moore’s squad. Montero is an out and out winger, something not particularly used by Moore. His current system largely relies on the full backs to provide the width. Montero will offer something different during games, perhaps mostly as a substitute, providing Albion with some variety.
West Brom had to fight off competition from fellow promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough to secure the signature of Newcastle winger Jacob Murphy. The 23-year-old had been targeted by Darren Moore as he looked to fill a hole left by Harvey Barnes following his return to parent club Leicester earlier this month.
Murphy joined Newcastle from Norwich in January 2017 for a fee believed to be around £11m. He has made 28 appearances for the Teeside club but has struggled to nail down a place in Rafa Benitez’s side. He returns to the Championship with a good record in the division. 11 goals and nine assists from his time at Norwich and a short stint at Blackpool.
Moore and his team believe that Murphy will be an adequate addition to fill the creative void left be Harvey Barnes. Like Barnes, Murphy can play out wide as well as the number 10 role and will likely play on the left side of Albion’s front three. Filling the gaping hole left by Barnes was priority number one for the Baggies.
This deal was almost derailed deep into negotiations as Newcastle attempted to use Albion’s interest in Murphy as leverage in a loan extension for Salomon Rondon. It was initially believed that a deal would depend on Newcastle signing a replacement. However a 12 month loan extension for Rondon was requested as part of the deal. Theoretically allowing the striker to join Newcastle for free next summer, something West Brom were not prepared to do.
Introducing our three new signings…
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) January 31, 2019
The 28-year-old central midfielder joins the Baggies after being frozen out by Claudio Ranieri at Fulham. Johansen has made 13 appearances this season but hasn’t featured since December having failed to register a goal or assist so far this season.
Johansen joined Fulham from Celtic in August 2016 for £2m, having helped Celtic to three Scottish Premiership titles. He carried that success to Fulham and became an integral part of their squad, guiding them to the playoffs in two consecutive seasons. Johansen featured in 45 of 46 league games for Fulham last season as well as all three playoff games.
The Norway international adds depth to West Brom as well as a creative spark, he also offers vital experience in escaping this division. Darren Moore adds Johansen, Murphy and Montero to the loan signing of Mason Holgate that was completed early in January. Making this January window very successful for the Baggies.
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