West Bromwich Albion enjoyed a relatively quiet January transfer window, but admittedly they were hardly in need of vast reinforcements.
Carlos Corberan had already inherited a relatively strong squad and managed to knit them together into a unit which will now have eyes on a return to the Premier League. Considering where the Baggies lay prior to Steve Bruce’s dismissal, this marks an outstanding turnaround.
There was no need for his Spanish successor to go wild in the transfer market, as it offers unpredictability alongside the potential to upset his finely-tuned machine, although he did supplement the squad with two new arrivals and nearly added a third on deadline day.
It was reported by the Evening Standard that Albion had agreed a deal with Chelsea starlet Omari Hutchinson to join until the end of the season, with the 19-year-old turning down offers from Europe and other Championship clubs in favour of a move to The Hawthorns.
Did West Brom need Hutchinson?
However, according to The Athletic‘s Elias Burke, it appeared that complications arose, which in turn led to Karlan Grant’s failed move to Swansea City. As such, both deals could not be completed in time, and the clubs missed out on their respective targets.
This arguably would have been the perfect move for West Brom to make given their current situation, bringing in a super-talented teenager to supplement the likes of John Swift, push them for a place in the team or even offer an instant upgrade to drive the team even closer to their objective of promotion.
His dynamism paired with a fine technical proficiency would have made him an ideal partner for Daryl Dike to play off of, with the American having only recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
He has notched two goals in his last three league games and will likely play a big role in their promotion push. His return adds pace and power, as well as the cutting edge that they had been lacking up front, and he would have surely thrived from the service of Hutchinson.
Graham Potter’s line about the teenager’s performance during a mid-season friendly further outlined exactly what Dike and West Brom will miss out on, with the Chelsea manager saying: “[Hutchinson] was really good, dangerous and asked a question all the time.”
That prying offensive nature could have been the additional spark to add even more goals to a solid West Brom outfit with the Championship’s fourth-best defensive record.
They should still finish in the play-offs without him, but he could have been the vital difference towards going even further and daring to dream of an automatic promotion spot.