West Brom's summer of revolution in the transfer window looks set to continue with Claudio Yacob reportedly on the verge of leaving the club. At the start of the summer, there were a number of players who simply had to leave either for their own career or because they'd stopped performing to the level required to have success. Yacob was not one of the players on that list, but this move shows that Alan Irvine is beginning to put his own stamp on the squad.
Yacob did have a poor showing last season and seemed to struggle with the pace of the game, and one of his best attributes -- his passing -- started going downhill. It's not that Yacob was constantly giving the ball away. It was just that it was taking him far too long to move it forward. It was his ability to begin attacks from deep with pinpoint passing that made him such a vital player for Albion when he first arrived.
- Dorrans: New deal signed
It seems that Irvine prefers more mobile central midfield players, with Youssouf Mulumbu looking particularly impressive in preseason games so far. Irvine's preference for this kind of midfielder could make Graham Dorrans the first choice for West Brom's new coach. This would represent a massive turnaround for the Scottish international -- and a real contrast to the fortunes of Yacob.
No one could have imagined in January of this year that Dorrans could potentially become a key player for Albion; he looked set to leave, having barely played in Steve Clarke's time at the club. Pepe Mel's tenure was short lived, but his one big contribution was rejuvenating Dorrans' career to the extent that he signed a new three-year deal at The Hawthorns this summer.
Dorrans provides Albion with a big, creative threat from centre midfield if he is firing. It isn't Dorrans' natural game to dictate play from deep like Yacob does, but he can move the ball forward quickly with his dribbling ability. Dorrans and Mulumbu have also proved they can play well alongside each other before, albeit in the championship. Of course, it is a big risk to rely on Dorrans being a key player considering he's had only small patches of form throughout his career in the Premier League. That's probably why Irvine is looking to bring in a replacement for Yacob: to offer another option.
But if Dorrans does fire and live up to his potential, then Irvine will have a fantastic weapon at his disposal. Irvine will also be looking to two of his summer signings -- Brown Ideye and Cristian Gamboa -- to make big contributions to the cause this season, once their work permit and visa issues have been sorted. West Brom will want this situation rectified quickly so that Brown and Gamboa can join up with their new teammates and get to grips with Irvine's methods and style of play.
The squad currently has a severe lack of pace. Both of these players possess good speed, particularly Gamboa, who is reportedly nicknamed "Gambolt" in reference to how quick he is. Gamboa had an incredibly impressive World Cup, and with the fee reported to be in the region of two million pounds, Albion might have picked up one of the bargains of the summer if he replicates that form in the Premier League.
Played as a right wing-back for Costa Rica, it was his play going forward that was most impressive, which suggests he would be more than capable of playing as a right winger in front of the on-loan Andre Wisdom at right back. Nigerian international Ideye obviously arrives with far more pressure on his shoulders, being Albion's record signing and the first player they've spent 10 million pounds on. He does look to have all the required aspects to be a success for the Baggies, though. He's quick, strong, runs well with the ball and looks to be a decent finisher. But adapting to the Premier League and a new country does tend to be a big issue for players coming from abroad.
That is why West Brom will be desperate for Ideye to join up with his new teammates as quickly as possible, so he can settle in and get to know the style of play. That would take the pressure off both him and Irvine, who will be banking on the Nigerian's goals to fire Albion to a decent league position.