It could be a very, very, very long season for West Bromwich Albion.
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Fortunately for Tony Pulis, the club’s current manager, the end could be much nearer for him than the end of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, in May.
Following the closure of the summer transfer window, Pulis and West Brom chairman John Williams seem to be at odds over the club’s transfer dealings which have left the first-team squad that looks unbelievably thin with four months to go until the next window.
Pulis is reportedly unhappy over the size and quality of the squad at his disposal, while Williams has since said in an official statement that Pulis’s requests were made, received and fulfilled by the club through the acquisitions of five new first-team players: Nacer Chadli (for a club-record fee), Matt Phillips, Hal-Robson Kanu, Allan Nyom and Brendan Galloway (on loan).
“Our head coach Tony Pulis is very selective and particular about the players he recruits so it follows that the new team members will add significantly to his first-team options. Tony wanted five and we got five.
“That having been said, the one disappointment we suffered was not being able to add a further quality midfield player. We were a long way down the road with a deal, which for the second time in the window would have broken the club transfer record, thanks to the ongoing support of Jeremy Peace (the majority shareholder) and Guochuan Lai (the club’s prospective new owner). But it was decided for footballing reasons not to pursue this. Despite it being late in the window, we decided to pursue another high-quality target. Unfortunately, we were not able to get the deal over the line.”
This seems destined to end one way, and one way only: Pulis will leave the club by mutual consent, citing a difference in philosophies and priorities between the two sides. Over/under on the date of departure: the end of October.