Back in January, West Brom fans were hopeful of a strong transfer window, expecting a number of signings to help boost the club’s thin squad. As it turned out, it would be a rather disappointing month, with fans underwhelmed with the signings of Jake Livermore and Marc Wilson.
The fans were teased the idea of spending £20m on Morgan Schneiderlin, but instead ended up spending half of that on £10m Jake Livermore, in what was seen then as a second choice option.
Fast forward to the present, and Livermore has been one of West Brom’s best players in the second-half of the season, his performances even earning him an England call-up and a start against Germany.
His performances alongside Darren Fletcher have been really impressive, it’s been a while since we’ve had a player in the middle of the park who can spray 40-yard passes across the pitch. He’s confident on the ball and is solid defensively, for an English player of his ability, £10m looks like a steal now.
I was one of the fans who was critical when he first signed for the club, I just couldn’t see what he would add to a midfield already boasting Fletcher and Claudio Yacob, and how wrong I was.
What has struck me most about his performances, is just how average he makes Darren Fletcher look as a player. Obviously Fletcher is still, and has been a great midfielder, but Livermore has overshadowed the ex-Manchester United midfielder on many occasions since his arrival.
Is Jake Livermore an upgrade on Darren Fletcher?
He’s got a better range of passing, and is quicker, stronger and more comfortable on the ball. With Fletcher’s contract expiring at the end of the season, and with no deal yet being signed, I’m confident that Livermore is more than capable of making that position his own.
Furthermore, he may see himself given slightly more freedom next season if Fletcher isn’t in the team, as if he plays with Yacob, he will be the one with more emphasis to create and push forward.
Let’s hope we see more as the season draws to a close!