Troy Deeney reveals he was close to West Brom move in 2020
Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney has revealed that he came close to joining West Brom in the summer of 2020 upon their promotion.
Slaven Bilic had guided the Baggies up, and the former Watford hitman was keen on remaining in the Premier League after the Hornets went down.
Deeney met with the West Brom boss and both player and club thrashed out details of a deal, but the Englishman never got a call and everything went quiet.
“I went up there, got my number, met the manager — it was done,” he told The Athletic.
“We met before they played Chelsea, there was a handshake and (we said) we’ll do it on Monday (after the game). Monday came and went, then Tuesday, with no calls.”
What would have been?
West Brom clearly needed a striker to boost their survival chances, and while Deeney was preparing his mind to move to The Hawthorns, the club signed Karlan Grant from Huddersfield Town two weeks later.
The 24-year-old ended up scoring once in 21 Premier League games, and Bilic was sacked just before Christmas with West Brom 19th in the league table having taken just seven points from 13 games.
Sam Allardyce replaced the Croatian, bringing in Galatasaray striker Mbaye Diagne on a loan deal with an option to buy in January.
While the Senegal international ended the season with three goals and two assists in 16 top-flight appearances, it was not enough to stop West Brom from going down.
We would never know what would have been had Deeney joined the club, but could someone with 47 top-flight goals in five seasons have given them a realistic chance at survival?
He has the experience and quality, but the Baggies had other ideas.
They are now looking to go straight back up under Valerien Ismael, and they could do with a quality striker to boost their promotion chances.
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