West Brom begin wingplay focus after McManaman capture
West Bromwich Albion head coach Tony Pulis may switch his side’s attacking focus to play from wide positions after securing a deal for Callum McManaman, and the club already boasting a variety of talented widemen.
The Baggies, odds-on 1/9 with Coral to stay up, confirmed the capture of winger McManaman this week in a £4.75m move from Wigan Athletic.
Pulis’ signing and recent squad selections could show his focused reliance on width for the remainder of the current Premier League campaign, with the Baggies hoping to steer clear of relegation.
The Hawthorns outfit already have Stephane Sessegnon, Cristian Gamboa and Chris Brunt as out-and-out wide players, suggesting Pulis is keen to focus his side’s attack from the wide positions after McManaman’s move.
The 23-year-old signed a three-and-a-half year contract, making him Pulis’ first signing as Baggies boss, and is ecstatic about the wonderful winger’s recruitment.
“I’m delighted we’ve got Callum and I believe he will be an exciting addition,” said Pulis. “Callum is a player who can improve our options and I am really looking forward to working with him.”
McManaman was Wigan’s joint top scorer this season with five goals in his 23 outings, also netting twice in the top-flight for the Latics in the 2012/13 campaign.
After being released by his boyhood club Everton, the wideman joined the DW Stadium outfit and was named Man of the Match when his former employers beat Manchester City to claim the 2013 FA Cup.
The former Championship star is the latest player to leave a struggling Wigan side in this Winter transfer window, with Adam Forshaw recently joining Middlesbrough, Ben Watson also departing and Shaun Maloney relocating to the MLS.
Menacing McManaman, who made 109 appearances for the Latics, joins a rejuvenated Albion side under the guidance of Pulis, who took charge at the start of the New Year.
“I’m really made up to have joined,” said McManaman. “When the chance came to move to West Bromwich Albion, and return to the Premier League, I couldn’t turn it down. This is a great move for me and I hope the Albion fans will get to see the best of me.”
With a host of quality widemen at his disposal, Pulis will aim to push West Brom further adrift of the drop zone with McManaman only adding to his squad’s depth in wide players.
Although, the Huyton-born attacker will have less competition for places now after the club offloaded Silvestre Varela, cancelling the Portuguese player’s loan following a stuttering stint in Greater Manchester.
Pulis will hope his new wideman can produce dangerous deliveries for star striker Saido Berahino, who is in a rampant run of form this season, striking 14 goals in 27 appearances. The Welsh coach also has Victor Anichebe and Brown Ideye in his ranks, with the pair netting six times between them this term.
West Brom are 5/1 to be relegated, having climbed up to 14th spot in the Premier League table under Pulis short reign.