Slaven Bilic Has Baggies On Course For Premier League

Ruben Hill
October 28, 2019

One of the surprise managerial appointments back in the summer in English football was Slaven Bilic taking up the vacant position at West Brom. The Baggies did a great job at persuading the former West Ham manager to move down into the Championship and attract him to the Hawthorns. West Brom have made a fantastic start to their Championship campaign this season under Bilic where he has got them targeting an automatic spot back into the Premier League. The Midlands club finished in the play-offs last season but had the heartbreak of losing in the semi-finals to local rivals Aston Villa. At the time of writing, West Brom are at the top of the Championship standings and can be backed at 13/5 in the Championship betting to win the title, while they are odds-on at 8/13 in the promotion market, a reflection of the positive start Bilic has had with the Baggies. Leeds are the bookmakers’ favourites at 13/10 to win the title, with Fulham prominent too in the market as they also look for a return into the top flight. Bilic clearly believes he can take West Brom up at the first attempt. He has spoken about his desire to manage in the Premier League again following his three years spell at West Ham. In his first season with the Hammers, he led them to a seventh-place finish as they picked up their highest ever points tally in the Premier League era. Grady Diangana Is Enjoying Life In The Championship Given his connections at West Ham, it was no surprise that Bilic knocked on the door of the East London club to pick up one of their best youth talents in Grady Diangana last summer and it has proved to be a great move as the youngster has made an immediate impact in his loan spell. Not only does Diangana have an eye for a goal, he is crucial to their build up play. With Charlie Austin now playing ahead of him, the Baggies are likely to be prolific with goals throughout the campaign. Austin has a great record in the Championship and will benefit from having Diangana assisting him. Bilic has Diangana signed up on loan until the end of the season and Baggies fans will be hoping West Ham don’t recall their player before that period ends. If the Croatian is light on numbers in January, though, the board are likely to back him in the transfer window as they will see this season as a great opportunity to secure promotion. Bilic Will Already Be Planning For Next Season Although there is a lot of work still to be done for West Brom, as the Championship is one of the most competitive leagues in Europe, Bilic will already be making preliminary plans for next season, in case his side are in the Premier League. The Baggies boss is likely to have begun creating a shortlist of players who can make an impact in the Premier League. While he was at West Ham, he signed the likes of Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arkautovic, all of which had a great impact on the club on the pitch. If Bilic does return to the Premier League next season, it will justify his decision to take on the project at West Brom and it will help repair any damage done by his sacking at West Ham.

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