West Brom rank bottom of the Premier League table in paying agent fees and it is yet another example of Guochuan Lai’s tight spending.
Albion spent just £4.2million on agent fees between February 2020 and February 2021, per the FA.
Relegation rivals such as Fulham and Newcastle spent more than double that amount, while Brighton also spent £7.4m on agent fees.
Albion fall short yet again, and Lai is the man responsible.
The limited spending on agent fees indicates we have signed lower reputation players, with this season’s signings focused on loanees or players who have never impressed above Championship level.
Branislav Ivanovic was the only high-profile player brought in, and his agent probably did not make huge demands given Ivanovic is in his mid-thirties.
By contrast, Newcastle brought in former England international Callum Wilson while Fulham signed proven Premier League players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mario Lemina – they also signed Alphonso Areola from PSG.
Lai lacked the same ambition with the transfers he sanctioned.
Conor Gallagher, Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant have all impressed in the Championship previously but the trio had next to no Premier League experience between them.
Okay Yokuslu and Mbaye Diagne did have top-flight know-how but they were relatively unknown so their agents were likely paid little too.
It smacks of a lack of ambition from West Brom, and that has to change if we are to bounce back next season.
Lai has to be prepared to bring in big names for big fees – Grant cost a lot last summer but his £15m [BBC] fee will be paid in instalments.
That shows Lai is not prepared to dip his hand in his pocket, and is perhaps looking to limit his own spending while burdening the next owner with significant costs.
If that is the case then we want to see the back of him as soon as posisble.
He has held us back with a lack of spending for too long now, and has transformed us from an established Premier League side to a yo-yo team.
In other West Brom news, Kevin Phillips urges Albion to keep an eye on a defender who will be a free agent in the summer.