Why are West Brom so keen on bringing in Aston Villa man?

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A bit-part player at Aston Villa under Steve Bruce, nine goals to his name in his last 49 league appearances, and a £7m price tag attached to his name. So why are West Brom looking into the possibility of signing Rudy Gestede?

Granted, the Baggies could be set to lose Saido Berahino when the winter transfer window opens next week, and that would leave them with just two recognised strikers.

But what would Gestede bring to a team that already boast physical presences up-front in Salomon Rondon and Hal Robson-Kanu?

It’s surely £7m that could be spent elsewhere.

The former Blackburn Rovers man was used on 32 occasions as Villa were relegated from the Premier League last season, recording their worst ever goal tally in the top-flight.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Now plying his trade in the second-tier of English football, still with the West Midlands outfit, the 28-year-old is behind Jonathan Kodja, Jordan Ayew and Gabriel Agbonlahor in Steve Bruce’s first-team plans.

Since arriving at Villa Park, Gestede has averaged a league goal every 265 minutes, a worse return than Rondon, despite the latter name’s strikes all coming in the Premier League.

We know Tony Pulis likes his forwards to boast plenty of physical attributes, and for that reason Gestede would certainly fall into a category of potential options.

But it’s some way off the names that were being linked with a move to the Hawthorns back in the summer. Reports in August suggested the Baggies were close to sealing a £30m for Watford striker Odion Ighalo, before eventually settling for free agent Robson-Kanu.

But if it’s a case of adding another powerful attacker to their ranks in January, even to act as cover for Rondon, should the Venezuelan get injured, there are other names out there that would offer Pulis more than Gestede would.

Emmanuel Adebyaor is still available for free, while West Ham’s Diafra Sakho is another potential alternative, as is Everton’s Arouna Kone.

The verdict

Would Gestede be the worst Premier League signing of all-time? No, far from it.

But it would hardly be a step in the right direction for a side that are targeting a top 10 finish this year.

Pulis allowed Victor Anichebe to see out his contract with the club last season, with the striker now playing an important role at Sunderland. Wouldn’t the Baggies boss have been better off keeping him at the club?

Speculation is intensifying in the Midlands right now, with the Baggies 3/1 favourites to land Gestede’s signature next month.

Would fans be happy to see him arrive? And – Villa fans – what can your neighbours expect from the striker?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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