West Bromwich Albion have confirmed the signing of Southampton’s English striker Jay Rodriguez, making him the club’s first signing of the summer transfer window.
The move to the Hawthorns gives Rodriguez a fresh start, with the one-time England international suffering through injuries after initially looking set to be a star at St. Mary’s.
In the 2013/14 season, Rodriguez scored an impressive 15 Premier League goals for the Saints and began to attract the attention of other clubs.
But he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a match against Manchester City towards the end of that season and would miss over a year due to the injury.
After returning, he seemed a shadow of his former self and did not find the back of the net in the league again until August 2016, over two years since suffering his injury.
Last season, the Englishman scored five goals and picked up two assists in just nine league starts – showing flashes of what he could be if given regular playing time.
He averaged 1.4 shots per game, with 0.9 of them coming inside the penalty area, but only completed 67.1% of his passes.
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For West Brom, he will compete for playing time alongside Hal Robson-Kanu in hopes of partnering star striker Salomon Rondon.
Robson-Kanu notched just two league goals last season and Rodriguez looks ready to take his opportunity with both hands.
Rondon scored eight league goals last season and needs more support up front if the Baggies hope to push themselves further up the table.
If Rodriguez is given regular starts and can stay healthy, there is no reason why he couldn’t contribute between five-to-ten goals for West Brom next season.
Robson-Kanu is not going to be that kind of player in the Premier League, whereas Jay Rodriguez has shown that he is capable of scoring plenty if given ample opportunities.
It is time for West Brom to give him those opportunities, alongside Rondon, and see how well he repays them in the long run.