West Bromwich Albion’s sporting and technical director, Luke Dowling, is set to work his magic once again this summer, with the main aim of bringing in a low amount of quality talents than an abundance of mediocre players, as reported by Birmingham Live.
Dowling spoke to BT Sport about his plans for the transfer window:
I can say, unfortunately, that we won’t have the money that Villa have spent, but we will spend more than what Norwich had to spend.
According to Transfermarkt, Aston Villa spent a whopping £143m on players last season, which although may sound like the ambitious spending of a club chasing Champions League football, Villa actually only succeeded in narrowly avoiding relegation.
We’ll look to be in the Sheffield United bracket. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll finish where Sheffield United have finished — they’ve had a wonderful season.
Sheffield United spent around £60m — but spent it wisely, unlike Villa — managing to finish ninth in the Premier League, focusing more on team chemistry than a squad overhaul.
We’ve got to try and bring the average age down — that was one of the big things we had to do last summer, because for the last five, six, seven, eight years it’s been an ageing squad.
The introduction of players like Semi Ajayi (25), Matheus Pereira (23), Grady Diangana (22), Filip Krovinovic (24) would have certainly helped bring the average age of the squad down this season, and clearly there’s something behind making such adjustments given how well the Baggies have performed throughout their promotion campaign.
Dowling then went on to discuss the club’s prospects with regards to players sold:
One or two might leave this summer, because that’s just how things work, but we must bring players in who have got value. They might not be those sexy names, we didn’t do that in the summer, but who can add something to the team.
The biggest thing for a club like ours, who have just been promoted, is to add players who are going to be in your starting XI – there’s no point adding to the squad.
Additions to the squad will be of a high calibre, but Dowling will ensure that the players who depart won’t leave huge gaps behind them that can’t be quickly plugged. It’s vitally important for a newly-promoted side to be as strong as possible, so no key players can be allowed to go; instead, these individuals will be deemed as the focal points of the side.
We’ll be playing a similar style of football to this season, because that’s the way Slaven wants to play. We’ll have to be sensible at times; we’re not going to go up against Man City and Liverpool and say ‘let’s play’ because, without being negative, we’ll get beat.
We’ve got to enjoy it, but we’ve also got a job to do — that’s to win as many games as possible. It’ll be enjoyable for the supporters to watch, I can guarantee that.
If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in: West Bromwich Albion: 10 Summer Transfer Targets.