So it would make sense for West Brom to hang onto the player at almost all costs given its status as a team in danger of the drop after its slow start under Tony Pulis has kept its lackluster pace under Alan Pardew.
Here’s the rub: Some big clubs would like to purchase Evans, who has 18 months left on his deal but reportedly no interest in signing a new deal the Hawthorns. Even worse? Monday’s story that a Baggies’ relegation would make his buyout clause just over $4 million.
Heck, Evans’ buyout clause is the same price Derby County paid Liverpool for Andre Wisdom. And these fees are all pre-Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool madness.
Considering only Swansea and Brighton have scored fewer league goals than the Baggies, who are just now committing to a two-striker approach under Pardew, does it make sense for West Brom to sell now?
Evans’ value at 18 months out will be more than it is at 12 months out even if the Baggies avoid relegation, but he’s possibly a lynch pin of the team. And the volatile value for attackers mean the $25-35 million he’d generate may not make for like-for-like value.
It’s not an easy decision, but desperate times call for similar measures. The Baggies have played in four nil-nils this season, and lost 1-0 to relegation rivals Southampton and Huddersfield Town away. Both of the reverse fixtures remain.
There are creative options here, too. Would Jurgen Klopp sanction a high(ish) profile attacker loan to WBA in order to pair Evans with Van Dijk? Same for Pep Guardiola at Man City?
Three big money moves occurred early with Marcos Alonso signing for Chelsea, Didier Ndong heading to Sunderland in a club record deal, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou arriving at Tottenham and Burnley have broken their club-record transfer fee for Jeff Hendricks.
Norwich remains in 17th place, just one spot above the drop on 31 points, while Sunderland stays in the third and final relegation spot, 18th place, but now moves on to 30 points and their goal difference is seven better. The relegation race just got real.
A nervous first half saw Norwich begin to have the better chances as first Younes Kaboul deflected a cross towards his own goal which Vito Mannone saved smartly and moments later Jonas Olsson hit a howitzer towards the corner from 35-yards out but Mannone saved again.
The Italian jinxed inside Andre Wisdom and the Norwich defender made a studs up tackle which saw a penalty kick awarded — despite huge complaints from the home fans and the home bench — to Sunderland. Borini stepped up and emphatically slammed home the spot kick. 1-0 to the Black Cats.
At half time Nathan Redmond came on for Norwich and and Duncan Watmore for Sunderland and the former came inches away from equalizing. Redmond stuck the foot of the post form distance with a superb effort as the Canaries pushed hard to find an equalizer.
10 – Jermain Defoe has now scored 10 goals in 14 Premier League away appearances this season for Sunderland. Lifeline.
Norwich kept pouring forward and Dieumerci Mbokani went down under Kaboul’s challenge but no penalty kick was given, then Lee Cattermole twice cleared off the line from Mbokani after a goalmouth scramble following Mannone’s punched clearance.
Sunderland could have extended their lead with plenty of chances on the break but Redmond was once again denied by Mannone.
Substitute Watmore then scored on his comeback form injury in stoppage time to seal the win. Big Sam was delighted and the Black Cats have breathed new life into their fight against relegation.