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Sep 3, 2014

How did West Brom do in the window?

Ins and Outs

Players in: Joleon Lescott (Man City, free), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev, 10 million pounds), Craig Gardner (Sunderland, free), Chris Baird (Burnley, free), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool, season loan), Sebastien Pocognoli (Hannover, undisclosed fee), Georgios Samaras (Celtic, free), Sebastian Blanco (Metalist Kharkiv, undisclosed), Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo, undisclosed), Cristian Gamboa (Rosenborg, undisclosed), Silvestre Varela (Porto, loan)

Players out: Billy Jones (Sunderland, free), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers, free), Steven Reid (Burnley, free), Zoltan Gera, Nicolas Anelka, Diego Lugano (all released), George Thorne (Derby, undisclosed)

Summing up the window

It's been a very busy window for Albion, with 11 players coming into the club while 13 departed if you include the loan players who returned to their parent clubs after last season. West Brom seem to have completed their business, which ensured a quiet deadline day, unlike last year. However, it has been very frustrating that a number of the signings haven't been available yet due to lack of fitness and also work permit delays. Overall, it's been a window where Albion have added to the positions they needed to -- including the impressive signing of Joleon Lescott at the back on a free transfer from Man City -- but a lot of the players are unknown quantities, which is why I give West Brom's business a 7 out of 10. That mark could easily go up or down depending on how the new signings adapt to the league. 7/10.

Best piece of business?

The most exciting bit of business was probably the 10 million pound record signing of striker Brown Ideye, but I believe the best piece of business could be Silvestre Varela. He is the kind of player West Brom have been crying out for since Peter Odemwingie's deadline day meltdown a couple of years ago. Varela is a quick, tricky wide player with an eye for goal who is capable of playing either side and comes with good pedigree. He's probably the best West Brom could hope for in that position.

Worst piece of business?

Going on his displays in the opening three games, this could be Andre Wisdom if he is continued to be played at right-back rather than in the centre of defence. Wisdom has struggled positionally, coming too far inside as a natural central defender, leaving too much space out wide. He also doesn't offer any great quality going forward, and could soon find his place taken by exciting Costa Rican international Cristian Gamboa.

Brown Ideye cost a lot and will have some added pressure this season.

What remaining issues are there?

Despite the capture of Ideye and the arrival of Greece striker Georgios Samaras, Albion still look light up front when it comes to goals. Ideye has shown flashes of his potential, such as his turn at Swansea, while Saido Berahino is a raw talent who already has two goals to his name this season. Anichebe and Samaras have their qualities but neither have great goal-scoring records, which mean the Baggies will be relying on an unproven Ideye, the inexperienced Berahino and their midfield players to provide the goals to keep West Brom up.

Who can help in January?

If Albion are still struggling for goals in January, I expect they will look to use their one remaining domestic loan on a forward who could help solve that problem. Arsenal's Joel Campbell would be ideal, while someone like James Wilson at Manchester United could be an alternative option. If Arouna Kone is still struggling for games at Everton, he could be another potential loanee if boss Alan Irvine preferred a more experienced option with a decent Premier League record.

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