West Brom the latest club plotting to raid League One goldmine
Championship-bound QPR saw off a rumoured challenge from Aston Villa to land Swindon duo Massimo Luongo and Ben Gladwin for a reported combined fee of £3.5m, after the Robins failed at the final League One playoffs hurdle when going down 4-0 to a rampant Preston side at Wembley.
The pair could be joined in the upper tiers of English football by winger Nathan Byrne, with a number of news sources currently floating the rumour that West Brom will bid £2m for the 22-year-old.
Baggies boss Tony Pulis has been searching for pace in wide areas since he took over at the Hawthorns at the start of January; Leicester’s Jamie Vardy was sought straight away by the Welsh gaffer, without success, while Callum McManaman arrived from Wigan for £4.75m.
Like Luongo, Byrne started his career in Spurs’ youth ranks before taking in the sights of the lower divisions on loan, eventually signing on at the County Ground after spending time there near the end of the 2012/13 campaign.
He has gone onto appear 78 times in the third tier since, scoring three goals and laying on nine assists during the season just gone. Again, like Luongo, Byrne made it into the League One Team of the Year for 2014/15.
Whether the St Albans lad fancies a move to the Midlands is anyone’s guess, having never made it north of White Hart Lane so far in his professional career, and the record of recent lower-league wing purchases by top-flight clubs suggests Pulis should take a very close look before parting with a chunk of his summer budget.
Former Brighton man Will Buckley managed only two assists in his nine Premier League starts for Sunderland this season, and no goals, while Tom Ince has made just eight top-flight starts for Crystal Palace and Hull combined since initially leaving the Championship in January 2013.
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