So the paperwork was signed last night and Glenn Murray is once again an Albion player (for a season at least). The former Albion favourite returns after five years away with arch rivals Crystal Palace and short stints with Reading (on loan) and Bournemouth.
The 32-year old isn’t a spring chicken anymore like he was back in the Withdean years, but he brings along with him some Premier League experience following his time in the big league with the Eagles and Cherries respectively.
Although manager Chris Hughton feels this is a good signing for us going into the new campaign, I look at Glenn and then look at our current top dog, Tomer Hemed, and struggle not to come up with similarities between the two.
Both are strong men who hold the ball up well. They are both deadly in the air and have that striker’s instinct of being in the right place at the right time. But both simply don’t have the pace we need to inject into this side up top.
We are too reliant on our wingers, Jamie Murphy and Kazenga LuaLua in particular, to bomb down the wing into the box and cause defenders problems.
Look at the teams that went up automatically last season. Burnley had Andre Gray, Middlesbrough had Jordan Rhodes (maybe for only half a season but that was more than enough). Both caused havoc for opposition back lines and scored the vital goals to get their teams promoted.
James Wilson was meant to bring our pace to the table last year along with Sam Baldock, but whilst one struggled to find form, the other suffered injury problems all season.
Then there is the question of whether Glenn will score us enough goals? We know he will score some big goals for us, but is he the same striker that powered in 31 goals for Palace during their successful promotion season back in 2012-13?
He is a good signing in the fact that he has been there and done it, and he will be key in the dressing room, telling the younger players not to feel too nervous and enjoy the experience.
But this makes him more of a like for like replacement for Bobby Zamora, who was released this summer, the only exception being he is younger and will be on the pitch far more than BZ was during the previous season (touch wood he doesn’t suffer a nasty injury).
So the question is where does Chris go from here? He now has three first team strikers in Hemed, Baldock and Murray, but he will definitely need to be in the market for a permanent striker. A young, pacey forward that will have the ability to score 20+ would be perfect, but we all know how difficult it is this day and age to afford one of those.
Newcastle are already using their parachute payments they received from the Premier League following last season’s relegation by signing Dwight Gayle for around £13 million pounds. We simply cannot compete with that.
However, forgetting the poor Elvis Manu, Chris and his recruitment team have done extremely well in bringing some excellent players to our football club. The likes of Beram Kayal, Liam Rosenior, Tomer Hemed, Gaetan Bong, Anthony Knockaert and Jiri Skalek have all come in settled well into the first team, so in Chris and the team I trust.