West Brom would have a player useful in more ways than one if they win transfer battle – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…

In terms of new arrivals, West Brom’s summer has been extremely quiet.

Only Filip Krovinovic has walked through the doors of the Hawthorns as plenty of names have fled the nest.

Yet, another body who could be brought in to bolster their squad is Arsenal’s Krystian Bielik.

Recently, the Pole was the subject of a report from The Telegraph claiming that the Baggies were interested in bringing him to the Midlands.

However, it may not be a straightforward pursuit. After all, this is a player who shone in League One for Charlton last term before starring at the European U21 Championships.

It’ll come as no surprise to see that he’s in demand, therefore.

Also in the race for the versatile individual, per the report, are Derby, Brentford and Middlesbrough so a fierce battle could be about to commence.

The word is that Arsenal are wanting him to sign new terms, but if he fails to do that, they could be willing to let him leave permanently.

Bielik is someone who has never made the cut at Arsenal, being subjected to various loans away from the club including a spell with Birmingham in the past.

But what can the 21-year-old bring to the Baggies if he does indeed sign?

Last term he featured as a holding midfielder and as a centre back for Charlton and they were two roles he exceeded tremendously well in at the U21 Euros this summer.

In three games, he thrived for Poland, proving to be one of their best performers.

Despite being a defensive player, he netted twice and also completed two dribbles per game. Not only is he no-nonsense, completing 7.7 clearances every 90 minutes, but his ability to dribble demonstrates the wonderful technical ability and dynamism he has.

By definition, he truly is useful in more ways than one.

Against Belgium in Poland’s opening game, he completed three dribbles and won four aerial duels whilst playing in defence, as well as finding the net.

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He then scored again versus Italy. Playing in the middle of the park, he made three tackles, completed nine clearances and also made two interceptions.

The sheer discipline of the youngster whilst continuing to prove a threat at the opposite end of the pitch was remarkable.

And if he continues to produce all-action performances like that he could well take to the Championship like a duck to water.

It’s now down to West Brom to win the race to sign him.

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