West Brom boss Tony Pulis has admitted that Hal Robson-Kanu was not one of his main targets as he looked to bolster his threadbare striker force ahead of the transfer deadline.
Eyebrows were raised last week when, with the 11pm cut off for signings having already passed, West Brom announced the signing of Robson-Kanu – a player who had been a free agent all summer after leaving Reading at the end of last season.
It seemed like a last-ditch attempt to add to a pool of strikers which consisted of just Saido Berahino, who despite interest from Stoke and Crystal Palace remained at The Hawthorns for the third transfer window running, and Salomon Rondon, following Rickie Lambert’s departure to Cardiff.
Albion had previously pulled out of a club-record deal to sign West Ham’s Diafra Sakho while Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez was also a target.
Pulis, who on Friday insisted the five players the club brought in during the transfer window were not the marquee signings he wanted, said: “He wasn’t one of my main targets. There are no hints about it.
“He was available at the end and we thought he would be a good acquisition. But to say he was one of the marquee signings would be wrong – we’d have signed him at the beginning of the transfer window.”
Robson-Kanu made his first appearance since signing for West Brom as a late substitute in Wales’ World Cup qualifying win against Moldova on Monday night and will probably have to wait to make his Albion debut as Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth comes too soon for the striker.
Pulis said: “Robson-Kanu has been away with Wales and he’s only just come back. He’ll need at least, looking at him, two weeks or 10 days of training before we get him involved.”
With just three strikers to choose from, Pulis is hoping he can do a deal for former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh. The free agent is training with West Brom and worked under Pulis at Palace.
“I know ‘Cham’ from Palace and if we can get him to the level he was at at Crystal Palace….Chamakh has got real quality in that 10 position and he can score goals but we will see,” said Pulis.
“It would be lovely to think that in a month’s time he could be at the level he was at at Palace. If he was at that level he would certainly be pushing people to play.
“Chamakh’s scoring record is very good. He is that type of player. He can pick a pass and play off people and around people. At Palace he was outstanding for us and gave us that bit of quality and time.”