West Bromwich Albion set to sign experienced Serie A defensive stalwart: A smashing move by Pulis?

If the reports are to be believed, West Bromwich Albion are leading the race to sign Inter Milan’s centre-back Andrea Ranocchia. The Baggies are presumed to be the frontrunners to acquire the services of the Italian, with Premier League newcomers Huddersfield Town also present right amidst the scheme of things, as he impressed during his loan move to the KCOM Stadium for the second half of last season in the Premier League.

Having emerged through the youth ranks of Perugia and Arezzo, Ranocchia has accumulated plenty of experience under his belt. The 29-year-old has been on the books of the Serie A outfit, Inter Milan since 2010, during which he also had loan spells at Genoa, Sampdoria and of course Hull City.

However, Internazionale’s boss Luciano Spalletti has made it clear that Ranocchia isn’t going to find a place in his setup and no wonder the defender is looking for an outlet.

Despite the failure on the part of the Tigers to ensure survival, Ranocchia thoroughly impressed with his performances on the English soil. In 16 appearances, the Italian international made 1.8 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 7.1 clearances and 0.8 blocks per game on an average and did  contributed well at the back.

He is in the peak period of his career and he would be inclined to derive as much productivity as he possibly can and Hawthorns should be an appealing destination for him.

Let’s not forget to mention that he also banged in 2 goals and registered 2 assists and is very keen to stay in the English top flight after the summer transfer window. Tony Pulis’ apparent interest to lure Ranocchia to the Hawthorns makes perfect sense as he is aiming to bolster his central defence which needs to be beefed up after the departure of Jonas Olsson.

West Brom managed 10th place in the 2016-17 Premier League table and in the upcoming season, they would need to make full use of the pedestal they created last term.

Ranocchia is a proven player who is very sound with his tackles and interceptions, is very strong in the air and never refrains from getting into tight scenarios. Besides, he has the requisite experience and with his brief spell with Hull City, he has acclimatised himself with the animosity of the Premier League pretty well and thus, Pulis must have started to believe by now that signing him will not involve a huge risk at the onset.

Stats courtesy: Whoscored

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