West Bromwich Albion have been looking for a commanding centre-back ever since they released Jonas Olsson in March, which has been further fuelled by the fact that Gareth McAuley is a 37-year-old now and is well beyond his prime.
Albion finished the 2016-17 campaign of the English top division with a 10th place finish and it goes without saying that they should make the necessary ramifications during the summer transfer window to keep the momentum up and running.
It is no brainer that Tony Pulis would be keen to lay his hands on someone who has the experience of plying his trade in the Premier League so that the point of acclimatisation doesn’t crop up with respect to the new purchase.
If the latest reports are to be believed, the Baggies are keen to lure Sunderland’s defender Lamine Kone to the Hawthorns this summer to enhance the quality of their defence as well as to bring competition for earning a place in the starting line-up.
Installing David Moyes at the helm of the Stadium of Light appeared to be a good move at the onset by the Black Cats but agonisingly, the scenario didn’t pan out in the manner they would have wanted. Sunderland found themselves bereft of confidence, ideas and grit and crumbled like a house of cards.
Moyes’ side got themselves relegated and quite rightly so, and to worsen their wounds, Kone refused to play for the former Manchester United manager on the final day of last season, implying that an exit was always going to be seemingly likely.
While Sunderland leaked as many as 69 goals last term, Kone did a fair bit of work as in 30 appearances in the Premier League, he piled 1 tackle, 1.5 interceptions, 6.6 clearances and 0.7 block per game on an average and showed immense grit and mettle.
However, he couldn’t save his employers from the clutches of relegation and West Bromwich Albion could take advantage of Sunderland’s plight and make the 28-year-old return to the top flight.
Kone is strong in the air, holds the ball well and is a calm and composed customer at the back. Besides, over his tenure of 18 months with Sunderland, he has shown that he has the requisite physical as well as the mental strength to deal with the rigours of the Premier League.
Pulis is a long-time admirer of this Ivory Coast international and the deal should benefit all the parties involved, including the relegated outfit who would be looking to reduce their wage bills.
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