With West Bromwich Albion winless from their opening five Premier League matches, the desire for money to be spent in January is understandable.

As the Baggies prepare for tonight’s meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium, the lack of goals at one end and a struggle to keep them out at the other is obvious. However, whether there is the money to address these issues is another question.

According to The Athletic’s Steve Madeley, loans this winter are more likely than anything permanent, with plenty depending on whether fans are allowed back into the grounds.

“Around £15 million has been held back within the budget to mitigate for the loss of that income, which is obviously money that’s not been available for transfers, but if there is a clear sign that fans could return there may be a little bit of room for manoeuvre,” he said.

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Of course, the Premier League is still in its early days and there is time for things to turn around. The Baggies have faced a tough schedule already and have some more winnable fixtures on the horizon.

There is also plenty of room for improvement within the squad, with a number of talented players yet to show their best form. Summer additions Karlan Grant and Conor Gallagher are still settling in, while Grady Diangana and Mattheus Pereira should have even more to give.

Another reason for positivity is the plight of some of the clubs around them. Fulham have suffered a terrible start to the year and Sheffield United have managed just three goals from their opening six matches. Tonight’s opponents Brighton have also endured a tough start.

However, it looks like it’s set to be a long season and Bilic must now work with what he’s got to craft a side that can survive and thrive in the Premier League.

In such an unprecedented season patience is warranted. After a run of matches against Brighton and Fulham over the next week, perhaps there will be a few more answers.

West Brom in other news: ‘Overhyped’, ‘Gutted’, ‘No brainer’ – Many WBA fans react as high-earner set for Baggies exit


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