Baggies chase Costa Rica World Cup pair Gamboa and Tejeda
West Bromwich Albion, 5/2 with Coral to be relegated, have been consistently linked with moves for two of Costa Rica’s standout World Cup performers Cristian Gamboa and Yeltsin Tejeda in recent weeks.
Tabloid gossip columns persist in claims both Rosenborg right back Gamboa, 24, and Deportivo Saprissa holding midfielder Tejeda, 22, will be snapped up by Baggies boss Alan Irvine.
Albion have no permanent senior right back on their books, although they recently secured the loan signing of Liverpool’s Andre Wisdom for this season. Gamboa, who can also play further up the pitch, was a revelation in a wing back role for Costa Rica at the Brazil finals.
In The Hawthorns engine room, meanwhile, Tejeda would be competing with long-serving DR Congo international Youssouf Mulumbu and Argentine anchorman Claudio Yacob. His holding abilities in Jorge Luis Pinto’s unconventional 5-2-3 formation allowed Costa Rica’s box-to-box player Celso Borges licence to break forward and support the attack.
West Brom’s squad is undergoing a major overhaul this summer, with five first-team players released on free transfers, and as many loan stars sent back to their parent clubs. Young midfield pair George Thorne and Scott Allan have also left the West Midlands for Derby County and Hibernian respectively.
Losing the likes of Liam Ridgewell, Steven Reid, Diego Lugano and Billy Jones has meant Irvine’s first priority was to strengthen defence. Ex-England international Joleon Lescott, the versatile Chris Baird and Belgian left back Sebastien Pocognoli have all been brought in alongside Wisdom.
Craig Gardner has bolstered midfield and could provide cover at right back, while Albion have reportedly spent a club record £10m on Nigerian striker Brown Ideye. Moves for Gamboa and compatriot Tejeda would give the Baggies squad a more complete and rounded feel.
Irvine’s West Midlands outfit are among the favourites for relegation but, if all clicks into place, also a tasty alternative price for a top 10 finish at 7/2.