Branislav Ivanovic might not make make his West Brom debut until October, according to The Athletic journalist Steve Madeley.
The Baggies finally confirmed the signing of the veteran defender on Tuesday afternoon following days of speculation.
According to Joseph Masi of the Express and Star, the Serbia international has already been training with Albion, Madeley has seemingly squashed any hope that he could be making his bow for Slaven Bilic’s men any time soon.
Writing in a piece for The Athletic, he said: “Could he [Ivanovic] play this week?
“Slaven Bilic has already said Ivanovic needs a couple of weeks of full training to catch-up with his team-mates, having missed pre-season, so we might not see much of him until October.”
West Brom’s next match is an EFL Cup tie against Harrogate Town on Wednesday evening.
This is a little disappointing, but not wholly unexpected.
Ivanovic hasn’t played a competitive game since July, and at 36 it was always going to take him a little longer than most to regain that vital match fitness.
The last thing West Brom can afford to be doing this season is dropping players into the starting lineup who aren’t ready for the pace of the Premier League.
At this stage though, it’s just pleasing to see Ivanovic through the door.
Of course, he’s not the player that he was when he was winning titles with Chelsea, but don’t underestimate the importance of that experience.
If he brings some solidity and knowhow to the heart of defence, that can only be a good thing.
In other West Brom news, three players could earn their Albion debuts against Harrogate this week.