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West Bromwich Albion have had a £10million bid rejected for left-back Kieran Gibbs by Arsenal, as per reports from Sky Sports.
The Baggies have been in the market for a new left-back and have already faced defeat in their pursuit of Charlie Taylor, who ended up joining fellow Premier League outfit Burnley. And following the setback in their attempts to sign Gibbs, they will be left looking at other options in the market. Manager Tony Pulis also revealed that they will not be going back in for Gibbs with another offer, and will turn their attention towards other targets.
Following West Brom’s 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace in the Premier League Asia Trophy, Pulis said (as quoted by the Sun):
“We won’t be signing Kieran Gibbs. We have to look for players that fit what we want to do and the way we want to play.”
And here are three alternatives that West Brom could look to sign, instead of Gibbs.
The former Bayern Munich star was reportedly watched by West Brom earlier this year, but there hasn’t been any progress made thereafter, but maybe it is time for Pulis to rekindle his interest in the player.
Having joined French club from Bayern in the summer of 2014, Contento has become a regular fixture in the playing XI for the club. Last season, he made 27 appearances in all competitions, contributing with just a single assist. But having been part of several title winning squads at Bayern, Contento has gained immense experience and will bring a winning mentality to the team.
A solid defender and a decent option going forward, Contento has just a year left on his current deal and will be available on the cheap as well, making him a decent option to consider.
The captain of Middlesbrough is another alternative that is likely to appeal to Pulis considering his height and physicality. Standing at 6’2”, Friend can be a more than a handy option to have while defending and attacking set-pieces.
Friend may have had a stop-start season last time around due to his continuous spate of injuries, but still managed to make 27 appearances in all competitions for the Riverside outfit, registering 2 assists. Extremely strong in the air and a very good dribbler of the ball, he can make valuable contributions at either end of the field. And his ability to slot in at centre-half will give the manager an added option.
Friend still has three years left on his contract with Boro, but having been relegated back to the Championship, a return to the top flight may be of appeal to the left-back.
The most high profile option on the list, the Algerian international has been on the radar of the Baggies for a while now, but are being priced out of a move by the €20million fee that Napoli are demanding for him.
Ghoulam has been a consistent performer for the Partenopei for three years, since his move to the San Paolo from St. Etienne back in 2014. Last season, he finished with a tally of 10 assists from 38 games in all competitions. Defensively rock solid, effective going forward, the 26-year old is a complete package. He has the speed, the dribbling abilities, a keen eye for a pass and is a force in the air as well. Possessing solid defensive nous and positional awareness, he can keep things tight at the back too.
Ghoulam will come with years of top level of experience, playing for one of the top teams in Italy and exposure in the European competitions too. He might be a little overpriced for someone in his final year of the contract but if the Baggies manage to reach a middle ground with Napoli, he will be a coup.