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Tony Pulis is under immense pressure after West Brom’s disappointing start to the season. The Baggies are without a win since August and some fans have been calling for Pulis’ reign to end. He felt the wrath of the travelling fans after their poor display against the newly promoted Huddersfield before the international break, a game which they lost.
However, Pulis seems determined to win his fans back and is desperate to freshen things up at the Hawthorns to arrest the current slide. And according to latest reports, West Brom are set to rekindle their interest in Fenerbahce midfielder Josef de Souza.
Albion tabled an offer of £10.6m for the versatile Souza from Fenerbahce in the summer but the deal stalled and manager Pulis pushed the loan deal through for Grzegorz Krychowiak from Paris Saint-Germain. The Brazilian midfielder is now reportedly a priority for Pulis in January.
West Brom signed the likes of Gareth Barry, Jay Rodriguez, Oliver Burke, Ahmed Hegazy and Krychowiak this summer. But as Darren Fletcher moved to Stoke after his contract expiry, the box-to-box midfielder’s role is somewhat vacant at the moment for the Baggies.
De Souza, a versatile midfielder, is also capable of playing as a right-back whenever needed. The Brazilian’s flexibility may be something that would have impressed Pulis, as he feels his side still lacks the steel in midfield regardless of adding new faces in summer.
The 28-year-old Souza is a central midfielder and is comfortable playing in a holding role and allowing his team to go forward, while he sits back and protects the defence. He has been capped three times by Brazil in his career and has also played in elite European competitions. So he would bring vast experience and quality that would fit in nicely at The Hawthorns.
Souza is not a midfield destroyer but is capable of making precisely-timed challenges with regularity and has the penchant for scoring goals. For Fenerbahce, he played 43 games in all competitions last season and scored 6 goals. In all, the midfielder has made 91 appearances for Turkish giants, scoring 10 goals since his move from Brazilian side Sao Paulo in 2015.
The Brazilian’s addition would definitely bolster the squad in January. With the solidity provided by Barry and Krychowiak in midfield, De Souza should be able to reach his potential by becoming a consistent performer in the Premier League.
However, West Brom’s problems are not limited to midfield and they are definitely in the attacking area of the pitch. The goal shortage was pretty alarming towards the back end of last season and it is haunting Pulis and his team this campaign too. Having mustered just 9 goals in the Premier League so far this season, a new striker should surely be on top of the priority list for West Brom. Nevertheless, Josef de Souza would be a welcome addition.