Everton’s Cenk Tosun a top West Brom target

West Brom are in a fight to preserve their Premier League status and manager Sam Allardyce is keen to add to his attacking ranks to aid the cause.

Allegedly top of Big Sam’s January shopping list is Turkish striker Cenk Tosun, who the Baggies boss signed for Everton in 2018 when he was in charge at Goodison Park.

However, things haven’t gone to plan for Tosun at Everton, with a combination of injuries and playing second fiddle to Dominic Calvert-Lewin pushing him closer to the exit door.

According to Tosun’s agent Mesrun Izzet, his client is ‘first choice’ for Albion following a meeting with Allardyce earlier this week.

Speaking in Turkish outlet Fanatik, as picked up by Sport Witness, Izzet seemed exceedingly confident that West Brom will be Cenk Tosun’s next destination due to being a ‘former student’ of Big Sam at Everton.

It seems unlikely that Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti will block any exit for Tosun, particularly amidst recent Toffees links with Bayern Munich youngster Joshua Zirkzee this month.

Turkey international Tosun has bagged 9 Premier League goals in 49 top flight appearances for Everton since his arrival 3 years ago.

Antonio strikes again as Hammers deal blow to West Brom survival bid

Antonio, who scored the only goal of the game against Burnley at the weekend, struck again as the Hammers climbed to seventh following a 2-1 win.

The controversy started however before a ball was kicked with the omission of Robert Snodgrass from the West Brom squad. The Scot had impressed in the Baggies 3-2 victory over Wolves at the weekend but was left a spectator because of an agreement between his new employers and the Hammers with the Premier League now reportedly “looking into” the matter.

The story on the pitch was better for West Ham who had plenty of the ball in the first half but struggled to breakdown Allardyce’s defensive line.

Craig Dawson perhaps should have opened the scoring against his former side but planted a free header wide at the far post from a corner and just when the first half was meandering towards a goalless conclusion, Vladimir Coufal burst into the area from the right.

The Czech full-back drilled in a cross which Bowen, with little time to react, managed to divert in with his chest from four yards out.

Early in the second half Lukasz Fabianski kept out Conor Gallagher’s angled shot, but moments later the Poland keeper was beaten. West Ham’s defence backed off Pereira as he reached the edge of the box and the Brazilian winger made them pay with a low shot which arrowed into the bottom corner drawing the game level – despite calls from the West Ham defence that Gallagher was interfering with play in an offside position.

West Ham continued to press for the winner and it arrived on the 65th minute when Aaron Cresswell’s cross found the head of substitute Andriy Yarmolenko. His header back into the danger zone was heading behind Antonio but he twisted his body well to hook the ball in from six yards out.

The Baggies rallied late on with a series of freekicks pumped high into the West Ham area but they came to nothing and West Ham win their first four fixtures in a calendar year for the first time since 1958 whilst West Brom remain 5 points from safety in the Premier League.

West Ham United 2 – 1 West Bromich Albion.

Premier League: West Ham v West Brom

Both sides are off the back of Premier League wins, but it can be argued that West Brom’s 2-3 victory over fierce rivals Wolves at the weekend was of greater importance.

The back-and-forth contest at Molineux swung in Albion’s favour as Big Sam secured his first win as Baggies boss, gaining Black Country bragging rights in the process.

The result wasn’t enough to lift West Brom out of the relegation zone, with the Baggies still 5 points from safety – it was, however, a much needed confidence booster.

Meanwhile, West Ham also got the job done in their last Premier League encounter with a narrow 1-0 victory over Burnley at the London Stadium.

The Hammers lack of a striker is a cause for concern, with Michail Antonio the only fit centre forward in David Moyes’ ranks after the sale of Sebastien Haller to Ajax earlier this month.

West Ham didn’t appear to struggle to create chances against Burnley but finishing them off did seem to be a bit of an Achilles heel.

A win for the Hammers will take them up to 7th place – leapfrogging Chelsea in the standings who play Leicester later on Tuesday night – whilst going level with 6th placed Everton.

3 points for West Ham will need to be secured without the defensive services of Fabian Balbuena, who is self-isolating after coming in to close contact with an individual who has tested positive for coronavirus, whilst fellow defender Arthur Masuaku remains a long-term injury absentee.

Aside from that David Moyes has a relatively clean bill of health.

Sam Allardyce does have fitness issues at West Brom meanwhile, where impressive goalkeeper Sam Johnstone will be absent due to contracting Covid-19, as will teammate Matt Phillips who has also tested positive for the virus.

Midfielder Conor Gallagher is available again for the Baggies after serving his suspension last time out against Wolves.

Grady Diangana is rated touch-and-go to feature against his former employers as he continues to recover from a muscle strain which kept him out of the Black Country derby.

West Ham v West Brom is a 6pm kick off on Tuesday, 19th January.

West Brom eyeing Turkey international

The Baggies are in a battle to remain in the Premier League this season and no doubt manager Sam Allardyce will be exploring his options in the transfer window in order to maximise their chances of staying up.

Although defenders appear to be of priority to West Brom, Celta Vigo’s Turkish international midfielder Okay Yokuşlu is catching their eye.

Yokuşlu has earned 29 caps for his country and has played in La Liga since 2018, with Celta Vigo enjoying a good season so far as they sit 8th in the Spanish top flight.

However, the midfielder has barely been involved this campaign after falling out of favour with a previous manager and failing to impress his replacement.

The lack of game time this season has meant that Yokuşlu’s chances of being involved with the Turkey squad for the rescheduled Euro 2020 are slim – but a move to the Premier League may be the catalyst he needs if he is to be selected for the national team.

Last week the Daily Mail reported West Brom’s interest in the 26-year-old, and the player’s agent this week confirmed to news outlet AS that talks are ongoing between the two clubs over a possible switch.

Although there is still a fair way to go before any sort of agreement is reached, Celta Vigo are open to letting the ill-fancied Yokuşlu leave the club in order to reduce their wage bill, particularly as they hunt for a new striker this month.

West Brom are interested but there is still a fair bit of negotiating to be done before a deal is struck.

West Brom battle out vital Black Country derby win at Wolves

The result comes as Sam Allardyce’s first win as Baggies boss and brings them to within touching distance of moving out of the drop zone.

And it was the under pressure visitors who were the brighter side in the opening stages with Wolves gifting them an opener on eight minutes.

Willy Boly collided with Callum Robinson inside the box and star man Matheus Pereira calmly tucked home from the spot.

But that goal only served wake Wolves up as Adama Traore tested David Button and Portuguese international Pedro Neto lashed wide.

And with the traffic heading in one direction Wolves netted a quick-fire double to take the lead before the break.

Fabio Silva turned home his first Molineux goal before Boly made up for his penalty gaffe as he reacted quickest to smash home from a corner.

But despite ended the first period strongly the game was flipped on its head once again within minutes of the restart.

Centre back Semi Ajayi bulleted a header past Rui Patricio and Robinson tumbled inside the box once again and Pereira fired home.

The tie did rock back in Wolves’ favour in the closing minutes and Nelson Semedo missed perfect chance to nick a point.

Full Time on a cracker of an afternoon at Molineux it’s Wolves 2 West Brom 3

West Brom reveal Karlan Grant injury

The 23-year-old suffered the injury ahead of Albion’s Premier League match against Arsenal on January 2 – a game in which Sam Allardyce’s team were beaten 4-0 at the Hawthorns.

Grant joined the Baggies from Huddersfield in October in a deal that could eventually be worth a reported £15million.

He has made 12 appearances and scored one goal – in the 1-1 draw at Brighton shortly after his arrival at the club.

Arsenal power past West Brom with 4-0 win at The Hawthorns

The Gunners look set to move up into the top ten in the coming week as a late brace from Alexandre Lacazette put the gloss on a dominant performance in the West Midlands.

Arteta’s team were on the front foot right from the start in this one with Sam Johnstone called into early action to deny Hector Bellerin and Bukayo Saka.

And with all the traffic heading in one direction it was only a matter of time before Arsenal edged ahead as Kieran Tierney netted a superb opener.

The Scotsman raided forward from full back, turned Darnell Furlong one way and then the other and curl home a beauty past Johnstone.

And with The Baggies unable to offer resistance, Saka tucked home a brilliant second.
Lacazette’s delayed pass released Emile Smith-Rowe and his cutback was buried by Saka.

Arsenal kept on coming and coming before the break with more Johnstone keeping the score down as he denied Lacazette and Rob Holding.

And the Arsenal avalanche showed no signs of slowly after the break before Lacazette finally made it three.

Saka was right at the heart of it once again Semi Ajayi deflected his cross onto the post before Lacazette pounced to tuck home.

Arsenal smelt blood in the final stages as Lacazette volleyed home Tierney’ cross for Goal No.4 as Sam Allardyce’s miserable start continues with The Baggies.

Full Time at The Hawthorns it’s West Brom 0 Arsenal 4

Premier League Preview: West Brom v Arsenal

The manager questioned his players’ commitment following the 5-0 home defeat to Leeds on Tuesday and Filip Krovinovic, Matheus Pereira and Branislav Ivanovic could return.

Mikel Arteta’s men meanwhile will take momentum into 2021 after halting a seven-match winless streak with a 3-1 Boxing Day victory over London rivals Chelsea followed by a scrappy 1-0 success at struggling Brighton.

The back-to-back wins have moved the north London club to within six points of the top six and helped quash talk of relegation.

The game kicks off at The Hawthorns at 8 o’clock on Saturday evening.

Leeds United hammer West Brom 5-0 at The Hawthorns

On a night were Marcelo Bielsa’s side probably expected to be frustrated by Sam Allardyce’s hosts, they produced the best performance of 2020.

Four first half goals set the tone for a dominant display from Leeds as Bielsa’s squad returned to form at a critical moment to leave Allardyce facing a bleak January.

Despite Leeds looking slick right from kick off in the West Midlands, they were given a helping in the first few minutes, as Romain Sawyers netted a ridiculous own goal.

The Baggies defender completely misjudged Sam Johnstone’s position in behind as he chipped past his own keeper.

However, if there was a touch of comedy about Leeds’ opener there was no joking about with the second as Ezgjan Alioski smashed past Johnstone.

And there was no slowly down from there as the rampant visitors smelt blood, with Jack Harrison finishing off a flowing move and Rodrigo fired home a fourth.

Leeds did almost shoot themselves in the foot after the restart as Illan Meslier reacted quickly from an error to deny Matheus Pereira.

But in truth, Leeds had the Baggies are arms length again after the break, as Raphinha saved the best goal for last.

The Brazilian has caught the eye with some spectacular goals during his first few months in England and he bent home a superb effort to make it five.

Full Time at The Hawthorns it’s West Brom 0 Leeds United 5

Premier League: West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United

Sam Allardyce’s side produced a solid defensive performance in their trip to Anfield and will have to duplicate that against the restless attack of Leeds.

The Baggies still only have one win in the league this season and sit 12 points behind Bielsa’s side whom they were promoted with after the last campaign.

As for Leeds United, a win could see them creep into the top half of the table. They’d overtake West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers to move into 10th.

The fixture has many notable omissions, West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore misses out due to suspension. While Hal Robson-Kanu, Kyle Bartley and Conor Townsend are also all out with injury.

As for the visitors, Leeds defender Liam Cooper is set to miss out due to an abdominal strain, while fellow centre back Diego Llorente is a doubt after a muscle issue. They join the list of central defensive absentees for Bielsa’s side with Robin Koch also sidelined long-term.

Leeds picked up 4 of the possible 6 points from the two meetings between the sides in the Championship last season, winning 1-0 at Elland Road and drawing 1-1 in the reverse.

The game kicks off at 18:00 pm on Tuesday 29th December.

Premier League: West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United

Sam Allardyce’s side produced a solid defensive performance in their trip to Anfield and will have to duplicate that against the restless attack of Leeds.

The Baggies still only have one win in the league this season and sit 12 points behind Bielsa’s side whom they were promoted with after the last campaign.

As for Leeds United, a win could see them creep into the top half of the table. They’d overtake West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers to move into 10th.

The fixture has many notable omissions, West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore misses out due to suspension. While Hal Robson-Kanu, Kyle Bartley and Conor Townsend are also all out with injury.

As for the visitors, Leeds defender Liam Cooper is set to miss out due to an abdominal strain, while fellow centre back Diego Llorente is a doubt after a muscle issue. They join the list of central defensive absentees for Bielsa’s side with Robin Koch also sidelined long-term.

Leeds picked up 4 of the possible 6 points from the two meetings between the sides in the Championship last season, winning 1-0 at Elland Road and drawing 1-1 in the reverse.

The game kicks off at 18:00 pm on Tuesday 29th December.