West Brom fans have taken to Twitter to express their delight at Branislav Ivanovic’s debut for the club.
The Serbia international made his first appearance since arriving on a free transfer earlier this month against Brentford on Tuesday evening, and it’s safe to say that he impressed watching supporters immensely.
Albion themselves crashed out on penalties following a 2-2 draw in normal time, but the veteran talent looked every inch the calm and assured presence at the heart of defence that we have been so desperately looking for.
From fierce challenges to full-blooded aerial duels, it is quite clear that Ivanovic hasn’t lost any of the fire and fight that made him such a popular figure at Chelsea for all those years.
If there is one potential concern, it will be that he isn’t exactly blessed with blistering pace.
That being said, he was never Usain Bolt, and we were fully aware that signing a 36-year-old would probably lead to a trade-off between experience and mobility.
Play him alongside Semi Ajayi, who can properly shift when he sets his mind to it, and it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Ivanovic managed just under an hour before being given the hook, but that was always likely to be the plan given that he hasn’t played any competitive football since leaving Zenit St. Petersburg at the end of last season.
Hopefully he should be a little closer to full sharpness from point onwards, and when he is, on the basis of this performance, he has to start.
Here are some of the best tweets from West Brom fans:
Gallagher and Ivanovic have both looked good. Though Gallagher needs to find his shooting boots
— Ricky Dayus (@westbromblog) September 22, 2020
Our defence as soon as Ivanovic came off pic.twitter.com/BHLYBPLlIk
— Adam 🇭🇷🇭🇷 | #laiout (@Magical_Matheus) September 22, 2020
Peltier > Furlong. Ivanovic > Any other defender at the club
— Raj Singh Mandir (@RajMandir1) September 22, 2020
Excellent 60 minute debut for Ivanovic. Read the game well and was showing his leadership at the back, telling players where to run and go. 👏🏼👏🏼
— liam 🍓 ➐ (@Iiamwbav4) September 22, 2020
He’s a defender we’ve beem crying out for
— James Joseph Smith (@TiptonAlbion26) September 22, 2020
Ivanovic is gonna keep us up. There I said it #wba
— Levz (@Dan_Kno) September 22, 2020
Ivanovic is solid. Reads the game so well👏🏼
— The Baggies Bible (@TheBaggiesBible) September 22, 2020
MY CB ❤ https://t.co/fRkEye5VfN
— WBA Rainbow Stand 🅙 (@TheRainbowStand) September 22, 2020
I was dubious about the Ivanovic signing but he's impressed me so far. Can see the experience and quality he posses
— Matt Jarvis (@BoingBoingMJ) September 22, 2020
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