West Bromwich Albion have struggled in recent years to remain in the Premier League after promotion, having been sent straight back down during the 2020/21 season after getting back into the top flight the campaign prior.
However, this season looks to be one which will see the Baggies go without that threat, as Steve Bruce’s side currently sit 20th in the Championship having won one of their first nine matches.
The additions over the summer also showed little in the way of ambition, with the club having to rely on free transfers and cut-price deals. In total, they spent just £1.21m, and they are seeing the results of that now in the league.
This financial strain can be traced back to years of misspending on underperforming players, with Oliver Burke high up on that list.
Signed for £15m in 2017, the Scotland international only managed 24 appearances for the Baggies and also endured a few unsuccessful loan spells. He did not score a single goal in his first season at The Hawthorns.
Furthermore, on a wage of £29k-per-week – the highest he has earned throughout his career – it means that he has rinsed the club of £16.5m in total. With just four goal contributions across this time, it means he has cost £4.1m per goal or assist.
Is Oliver Burke West Brom’s worst ever signing?
In fact, the 25-year-old has struggled wherever he has gone, which makes the decision to spend so much money on him all the more baffling. He is yet to score more than six goals for any of the nine clubs he has represented.
Jackie McNamara has been one to question Burke’s credentials, especially following a display for Scotland which the Celtic legend labelled “disappointing”. He remained unsure of Burke’s best position, stating: “It’s hard to say what position the lad is”.
This West Brom flop was a huge waste of money, and for a club who have not been good enough on the pitch recently to earn any significant financial incentives, they cannot afford to make such huge missteps.
They are suffering for it now, whilst Burke’s career continues to stutter along at Werder Bremen.