Paul Merson has blasted West Brom for signing defender Branislav Ivanovic, claiming that the former Chelsea man has “lost his legs”.
Ivanovic, 36, impressed on his debut in the Carabao Cup defeat to Brentford on Tuesday night but Slaven Bilic has confirmed he’s unlikely to feature when the Baggies take on Chelsea at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Although a lot of fans were happy with the Serbian’s performance, Merson is baffled by West Brom’s decision to sign him.
“Why did they bring in Branislav Ivanovic? He’s 36 and he lost his legs ages ago. He was struggling at Chelsea when they were dominating matches. I worry for West Brom. They are the weakest of the clubs who came up by miles,” Merson wrote, as shown on the Daily Star website.
We might have spent two years outside of the Premier League but some things just don’t change – Merson’s contempt for the Baggies.
If he wants to know why Albion signed Ivanovic, why didn’t he ask someone with links to the club? Because it’s quite clear that this is a squad of players with barely any Premier League experience.
West Brom’s transfer budget also means that they have limited money to spend on centre-backs, which wasn’t a high priority for Bilic and Luke Dowling when the transfer window opened.
Without spending a penny on transfer fees, Bilic has added serious experience and leadership to a defence that often looked rudderless in the Championship.
There’s that explained for you, Merson. But the former Arsenal and Aston Villa player isn’t stopped there with this Baggie-bashing.
He said: “Who gets the goals for West Brom? Who can they rely on every week?
“At the moment they are letting so many in that it won’t matter who scores at the other end anyway.”
It’s hard to argue with Merson on this point but people are ignoring the fact that West Brom have played against Leicester and Everton – two teams you’d expect to finish in the top-eight this season.
Albion scored two brilliant goals at Everton and it could’ve been a completely different result if Kieran Gibbs wasn’t sent off.
We don’t want to over-defend the Baggies for what has been a poor start to the season but Merson’s claims are very knee-jerk and ill-informed.
In other West Brom news, Albion are keen to sign this 22-year-old international forward.