Midfielder Sam Field impressed during West Brom’s 0-0 draw at home to Middlesbrough and Jonathan Leko continued to show promise during his short cameo from the bench, but Baggies boss Tony Pulis knows he won’t get anywhere with kids this season.
There was even talk that 16-year-old Kane Wilson could become the first Premier League player born after the 2000 at the Hawthorns, such is the weakness of Pulis’ current squad.
Whether through uncertainty after the Black Country club became the fourth West Midlands team in the top two tiers of English football to be taken over by Chinese consortia, or lack of desire to turn out for the baseball cap-sporting Welshman, signings haven’t really happened this summer.
Matt Phillips is still the only permanent newboy through the door, with a £13m deal agreed with Spurs for fellow wide-forward type Nacer Chadli and reports West Brom have triggered Malaga defensive-midfielder Ignacio Camacho’s release clause.
Sulking striker Saido Berahino could be on his way to Stoke before the transfer window closes, while talk of centre-half Jonny Evans heading in Arsenal’s direction won’t quite go away, so the more fresh bodies the better for Pulis between now and the end of next week.
If they fail to get over the line with significant reinforcements, Ladbrokes’ 16/5 about West Brom going down will start to look shaky, with question marks sure to appear over the 58-year-old’s future in such circumstances.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, it’s pretty much as you were after a shock-free weekend.
Manchester City are back in the clear as 7/5 title favourites following their 3-1 win at home to West Ham, having hit 6/4 after Manchester United and Chelsea kept their faultless 2016/17 records going with victories over Hull and Burnley respectively.
United are 11/4 second favourites with the Blues 9/2, then it’s a long way back to Arsenal already at 10/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.