Tag Archives: West Bromwich

West Bromwich in talks with Arsenal.


Arteta is yet to be convinced that dropping him into a relegation scrap with a team who play a drastically different style of football will provide that.

West Brom are in talks with Arsenal over a loan deal for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, though the Gunners are yet to decide whether a spell at The Hawthorns would be beneficial for him.

Maitland-Niles has been on the fringes of Mikel Arteta’s squad this season and has racked up a reasonable 21 appearances in all competitions. Just six of those have come from the start though, leading to reports of frustration at his role in the squad.


The 23-year-old is targeting a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s European Championship and that is not something he is likely to attain unless he is starting regularly.

A source has told NoRM’s known Media that West Brom have made a move to sign him on loan, but they are not the only club looking at him as Southampton and Newcastle are both keen. Sam Allardyce’s men believe, however, they are favourites to land Maitland-Niles because they would be willing to play him in his preferred central midfield role.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein also says that the Baggies are ‘pushing hard’ to bring him in, but Arsenal still believe he could have a role to play in their season and only want to send him out if it will benefit his development.


Ornstein’s report notes that there is interest from an unnamed ‘current top four’ Premier League team, potentially Leicester or West Ham, who were sat in fourth at the time the piece was written.

Arsenal would prefer to send him to one of those sides, but the Hammers can no longer be in the running after securing the services of Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard on loan until the end of the season – a deal that West Brom were also hoping to conclude.

With just days left of the transfer window, then, we may be in for an interesting stand-off – do the Gunners ship him off to the lower reaches of the table, or wait for their preferred option at the risk of no move coming off?

The loan signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid pushed him further down the midfield pecking order, while Hector Bellerin, Cedric Soares and Kieran Tierney are each preferred to fill the full-back positions where Maitland-Niles has proven a capable deputy.


He did start as recently as two weeks ago, however, and it isn’t believed Arteta would be against keeping him around as cover for the second half of the season.

What Arsenal decide may come down to how hard the player pushes for a move. As things stand, he is keen to go out on loan but hasn’t forced the issue – something that may change ahead of Monday’s deadline.




Crystal Palace trashes 10-Man West Bromwich


At the other end of the table, the margin of defeat sees West Brom sink behind Burnley to second bottom.

Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke both scored twice as Crystal Palace made West Brom pay for Matheus Pereira’s first-half red card in a 5-1 rout at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

The Eagles had struggled for goals in recent weeks, but with Zaha restored after missing defeats to Burnley and Newcastle due to coronavirus, Palace were a team transformed as they moved to 11th and within three points of the top four.


Zaha made an instant impact as Palace took the lead after eight minutes when his low cross was turned into his own net by Darnell Furlong.

Furlong made amends on the half hour mark when his cross was swept home by Conor Gallagher.

But just four minutes later the game swung decisively in the visitors’ favour when Pereira was sent off after kicking out at Patrick Van Aanholt.

Zaha restored Palace’s lead 10 minutes into the second half when he brilliantly curled in from 16 yards.


Four minutes later Benteke marked his return to the starting line-up with a first goal since July by stooping to head home Van Aanholt’s cross.

Zaha made it 4-1 after 68 minutes when he stabbed in following Eberechi Eze’s strong run into the box and Benteke rounded off the scoring in style by turning his marker and powering home a left-footed drive from just inside the penalty area eight minutes from time.



POTY Awards: Eagles star, Semi Ajayi gets West Bromwich nomination


Newly-promoted English Premier League side, West Bromwich Albion have nominated Super Eagles defender, Semi Ajayi, for the club’s Player of the Year award for 2020.

Ajayi, 26, teamed up with the Baggies in the summer of 2019 from League Two side, Rotherham United, going ahead to becoming a mainstay in the side’s defence.

The Nigerian scored five goals in 43 league matches for Slaven Bilić’s side to help them gain promotion to the English topflight after they finished second behind Leeds United.


“One historic campaign. Promotion to the Premier League secured. But there are still important matters to wrap up from the memorable 2019/20 season,” the club said on its website.

It added, “Voting is now open for the Ideal Boilers Supporters’ Player of the Season award – your opportunity to crown Albion’s star man in this promotion-winning year.”

Slide to see images

Ajayi, alongside 14 others, will be vying for the prize with the shortlist including players who featured in at least 23 matches for the Baggies in the Championship.

They include Sam Johnstone, Darnell Furlong, Hal Robson-Kanu, Kyle Bartley, Filip Krovinović, Jake Livermore, and Matt Phillips.


Other contenders for the award are Matheus Pereira, Conor Townsend, Charlie Austin, Romaine Sawyers, Kyle Edwards, and Grady Diangana.

In April, Ajayi was included in the FIFA 20’s Ultimate Championship Team of the Season alongside Super Eagles prospect, Ebere Eze who plays for Queens Park Rangers (QPR).

Semi who narrowly missed out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) where Nigeria clinched the bronze medal, took to his Instagram handle to celebrate the feat.

“Humbled to have been included in the EFL Team of The Season So Far Thank you for all of your support this season,” the Baggies defender wrote on the social media platform.

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West Brom player, Ajayi calls Ronaldinho his hero.


West Brom player, Ajayi calls Ronaldinho his hero.

The 26-year-old Nigeria international has revealed his admiration for the former Brazil and Barca star

West Bromwich Albion centre-back Semi Ajayi has described Barcelona legend Ronaldinho as his hero.

The 39-year-old Brazilian is regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation and famous for his dazzling skills and ability score and create goals.

Ronaldinho featured for a number of clubs in Europe, including Barca, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and won the Ballon d’Or award before his retirement in January 2018.

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Ajayi, who has been delivering solid defensive performances for West Brom this season, has revealed his admiration for the versatile but mercurial midfielder.

“Ronaldinho? Yes, there was nobody like him at the time. He did things no other player was trying; definitely my first football hero,” Ajayi told his club website.

Emulating his hero, the Super Eagles star has shown his versatility, playing in centre-defence, full-back and midfield roles.

The former Rotherham United man, however, revealed his preferred position is centre-back, where he has flourished for the Baggies this campaign.

“I feel most comfortable at centre-half. Always have done,” he continued.

“I’m more than happy to step into midfield if asked but I’ve never thought of myself as a midfield player.”

Ajayi has featured in all but two of the Baggies’ Championship games this season to help them to their current second spot on the table, only one point behind Leeds United.

The defender will hope to continue his eye-catching performances when the league resumes, having been suspended along with major competitions across the world due to coronavirus fears.


West Brom invite Oyo players for final screening.

The coast is now clear for the 20 lucky players picked during the recently held Oyo State Soccer Development Programme in Ibadan to undergo further screening to be conducted by English Championship side, West Bromwich Albion.

Successful players from the latest exercise will be admitted into the Bestowed Grace Football Academy, which is coordinating the programme for Oyo State government.

The 20 successful players, according to Ismail Ridwan Ayobami of Bestowed Grace, would proceed to West Bromwich Albion in England for final trials following recommendations by Coach Bird Josh, and Jones Mitchell Mark, both UEFA B licensed and recruitment managers for West Brom.

“We thank God for the success recorded so far in this youth empowerment programmes through football, which was the idea of Governor Seyi Makinde.

“It involves a successful one-month stay Westbrom UK camp, UK Visa processing, air-tickets, accommodation, feeding, logistics, kits, airport pick-up and drop-off”, Ayomide of Bestowed noted.

Meanwhile, the families of the beneficiaries of Oyo State Football Talent Identification Scheme have thanked the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde for his love and concern for capacity building of youths in Oyo State through sports, especially football.