Although West Bromwich Albion fans may not see latest arrival Georgios Samaras as a marquee signing or an exciting one for that matter, there are a number of reasons why Alan Irvine and the club's hierarchy have decided to snatch up the former Manchester City and Celtic star.
Since the start of the summer transfer window, West Brom have signed both experienced players -such as Joleon Lescott and Chris Baird - and younger, exciting yet less experienced talent like Cristian Gamboa and Brown Ideye.
The blend of youth and experience is certainly a balance that West Brom felt they wanted to acquire. This transfer is no different. Samaras is an experienced player that can offer West Brom a variety of options.
The Greek international is a very flexible and versatile player, attributes that West Brom are in need of; especially if they want to introduce some un-predictability into a rigid team. Although they do have a solid midfield, it is predictable and not as offensive and versatile as others in the Premier League. Samaras could spark more creativity into the West Brom side for when they are going forward.
Samaras will also give West Brom more depth in their midfield or perhaps up front. The Baggies are looking a little vulnerable in terms of depth and if any injuries were to occur there could be significant consequences.
Therefore the introduction of Samaras can only help to prevent this from becoming a problem. Also, Samaras can play in the forward role which gives Irvine an extra option up top too.
Six years at Celtic should have led to Samaras developing a winning mentality, an attribute that will only brighten up the West Brom dressing room.
However, for the last few years of his career he has found himself in and out of the Celtic side. Despite helping to create some incredible memories including the home win over Barcelona, he still struggled to establish himself on the teamsheet.
Short of fitness/confidence?
Particularly in his last year in Scotland, Samaras spent a lot of time out of the starting XI and will possibly now be short of the match fitness or confidence that he used to ooze in his early days at Celtic and in his time at Manchester City.
Another hindrance in Samaras’ game is his speed. The Greek international is far from fast and as he is no longer in his development stage, the older he becomes the more pace he will lose.
Although pace is far from essential it is a positive attribute and if Samaras is to be deployed as a winger then this is not ideal. However, with the speed of Ideye, Stephane Sessegnon and Saido Berahino around him, it may not deter the West Brom team.
His ability lately has been questioned and is perhaps why West Brom were able to bring Samaras in on a free transfer.
This is probably the main talking point for the West Brom faithful as some of the them questioned his ability but also the club's ambition as Samaras put pen-to-paper on a deal at The Hawthorns.
After a miserable season last year for the Baggies, they were really hoping to relight the fire from the previous campaign and make some top signings. It’s no secret that some of West Brom’s new recruits are potential stars or big names, but also one or two of those arrivals are no more exciting than finding coal in your stocking at Christmas. I’d place this signing somewhere in the middle and Samaras could end up playing a crucial part for West Brom this season.
So will he play? Looking at West Brom’s first line-ups under the newly-appointed Irvine, they look to be lacking width and some players do not look as though they are playing in their preferred positions. Samaras would give West Brom the width they lack, therefore you’d assume Samaras has a spot in the team or could possibly come on from the bench.
Overall, West Brom have got themselves a player with an number of attributes that should be valuable.
Whether this move will take the Baggies forward is questionable at this moment in time, but either way as a free transfer can WBA be blamed for capturing Samaras even if he’s not a success? I think not.
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