The transfer window might have fizzled out but Albion fans should be buoyed by the one signing who will perhaps intrigue the most.
That’s the message from Rochdale boss Keith Hill, who believes the Baggies, in signing Craig Dawson, have pulled off a transfer coup.
Dawson joins Albion for the increasingly tediously over-used ‘undisclosed fee’ – let’s call it £600,000 for argument’s sake – with the centre-half staying at Spotlands for the remainder of the campaign on a loan deal.
Hill claims Dawson has the potential to excel at the highest level.
“I wish people would start believing me when I tell them how good he is,” said Hill. “I consider him to be at least capable of playing in the Premier League.
“I know I don’t have a lot of experience dealing with Premier League players or dealing in that perspective but football is football and I know a footballer when I saw one.
“I know what Craig has got and what he’s capable of doing in football and people need to start listening.
“West Brom will realise that he will be one major asset in the Premier League.
“He’s a superb player and it was evident last week against Birmingham in the Carling Cup.
“We wanted to keep him at Rochdale because he’s done excellently. Despite all the speculation over his future, he’s continued to play football at a very high level.
“Craig will serve us well in League One and it’s important for him to play at this standard now.
“He’s young but he’s also mature for his age and people in the footballing world will soon realise what a talent he is. His future is bright – there’s no question about it.”
Hill believes Rochdale and Albion have benefitted from the deal – not least as the player can continue his footballing education in Lancashire.
“This is a great piece of business for all parties and certainly the best piece of business since I have been at the club,” added Hill.
“We are really pleased for Craig as he has achieved what he wants, West Brom have secured the most talented young defender in the country.
“We are pleased that the club has been recognised and rewarded for the efforts we have made in Craig’s development.
“With Craig remaining here until the end of the season we have a player who is fully inclusive in respect of what we want to achieve as a club this season.
“Everyone wins and all parties are to be applauded in constructing a deal which benefits every party.”