You might have seen some comments about the Blackpool squad for the upcoming season, which is just a little thin for a Championship season that starts in 26 days. West Brom may not be quite on the same scale, but they have a pretty serious squad depth problem. I count 18 senior players, including 4 new signings, before you are looking at untested academy products. Essentially, if any of their players get injured, the youth are in the squad. Over the course of a whole season that could see teams taking several injuries at a time, you can see how that would put them in a crisis.
So of course, most football lovers will encourage West Brom to make a few signings to avoid potential embarrassment. The only problem is, they've sought out more embarrassment and could be about to pay genuine currency for Alan Hutton. It's obviously a position they need to strengthen, Baird is their only natural right back and he could be needed in central midfield. He often played there for Fulham last season - a budget Philip Lahm, if you want a ridiculous and pointless comparison. I digress.
Villa appeared to be begging for anyone to take Hutton off their hands for free over the last 18 months. Hutton now has just 12 months left on his contract, so his value is ever decreasing in theory. But West Brom seem to have fallen for the PR line that Hutton has been "re-integrated", somehow making him a more attractive transfer target. Baffling. Brilliant for Villa to get him off the wage bill and a bit of extra cash, but completely baffling.
If the same trick could be pulled with Luna Bennett Stevens Tonev and co, we might just claim enough funds to dabble in the real transfer market rather than trawling for freebies.