Better than Gayle: West Brom must sanction £8.5m swoop for “very gifted” goal machine – opinion

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According to Het Laatste Nieuws, via Sport Witness, West Bromwich Albion are keen on signing Genk striker Mbwana Samatta this month.

What’s the word?

It is believed that the 27-year-old is a potential target for several English teams with Brighton and Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and Norwich City the other names linked.

The same report suggests that the Belgian side would listen to an offer of €10m (£8.5m), although the Guardian have claimed that fee is indeed his release clause.

If Samatta were to move to England, he would become the first Tanzanian-born player to feature in the top-flight. He has also won the African Champions League with DR Congo outfit TP Mazembe.

Any potential move would be dependant on whether or not he can clinch a work permit with the decision firmly out of the hands of the clubs interested in him.

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Samatta finished at the top goalscorer in the Belgian Pro League last season as Genk won the title by a clear seven points.

He bagged 32 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions, and that prolific form has continued into this campaign, where he has managed to find the net ten times in 28 matches, including goals against Liverpool and RB Salzburg in the Champions League, per Transfermarkt.

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The Baggies have been linked to several striking options this month, most notably a return for Dwight Gayle, who proved to be far too expensive in the summer and that hasn’t changed with The Athletic reporting he would only be available for £15m on top of his £50k-per-week wages.

At £8.5m, Samatta offers a far cheaper alternative and one that could potentially be a better option than the faltering Magpies striker.

Gayle has struggled for game time at St James’ Park playing just 150 minutes all season, highlighting that he may not be up to the standard of the Premier League, which is ultimately Albion’s end goal this term.

Instead, they should chase the Tanzanian international, who has been described as “very gifted” and “disciplined” by his former coach at SC Simba, Patrick Phiri.

His goal return speaks for itself, and with two years on Gayle in terms of age too, Slaven Bilic must do all he can to persuade the striker to move to the Hawthorns this month.

While in other news, West Brom’s interest in this 7-goal ace has been confirmed by one Sky Sports reporter…