West Bromwich Albion are planning a summer swoop for Joe Worrall with sporting director Luke Dowling scouting the Nottingham Forest defender last weekend, as reported by the Sun.
Any hopes Baggies fans might have had of repeating that infamous Great Escape of 2005 are dwindling by the week.
Sam Allardyce looks increasingly incapable of doing what Bryan Robson did all those years ago, Sunday’s drab 2-0 defeat at Tottenham meaning that the gap between themselves and 17th-placed Burnley now stands at a colossal 11 points. For context, that is nearly four wins.
With the Sun naming Worrall as one of the club’s top summer targets, are West Brom already preparing for life back in the Championship?
That may be a little harsh – no one at The Hawthorns is accepting defeat just yet – but Worrall certainly feels like the sort of player who would ease their adaptation back into second-tier life, potentially acting as a long-term replacement for Branislav Ivanovic or even Semi Ajayi, should the Baggies’ most impressive performer attract interest from elsewhere.
Worrall, who has made over 100 Championship appearances, is valued by Nottingham Forest in the region of £12 million.
West Brom director Dowling watched the 24-year-old during Forest’s 3-0 thrashing of Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday; a game in which Worrall produced a Rolls Royce of a performance while diluting the impact of the dangerous Uche Ikpeazu.
“I thought Joe was outstanding, it was a man-of-the-match performance and he will be a captain of whatever team he plays for,” Steven Gerrard said of Worrall during a Rangers loan spell in 2018/19.
“He is a leader.”