West Brom V Sunderland at The Hawthorns : Match Preview

20 January 2017 08:34
West Brom V Sunderland - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Jake Livemore completes move to West Brom from Hull

Jake Livermore has left Hull to join Premier League rivals West Brom on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Although the fee is undisclosed, the 27-year-old midfielder is understood to have cost the Baggies around B#10million and becomes the club's first signing of the January transfer window.

Manager Tony Pulis missed out on France international Morgan Schneiderlin, who joined Everton from Manchester United earlier this month, but has been successful with a second bid for Livermore.

West Brom announced the one-time England international's arrival on their official Twitter account.

Boss Tony Pulis said: "We're very pleased, in this window we've lost Callum (McManaman) and Craig (Gardner) so to bring in player like Jake is important for us.

"We're very pleased to get Jake and feel and he can be good addition to team. He's had a really good background with Tottenham, did very well there and actually got an England cap which I think some people have forgotten. He was outstanding in the two games against us this season.

"I watched him a lot when he was at Tottenham and thought he would go on to establish himself as a top six player.

"Maybe he has just drifted away a little from that - although having said that two promotions and a Cup final with Hull should not be forgotten. But I believe this lad is a very, very good player and I'm delighted we've got him."

Livermore avoided a ban in 2015 after failing a drugs test for cocaine following the death of his baby son in 2014. He escaped suspension after the Football Association ruled the death was an overwhelming mitigating factor.

Pulis added: "He's a solid kid. He's had things that have happened in his life that have been very unfortunate and he's bounced back.

"I've spoken to a lot of people about him as a person, his character, and I've not had anybody say anything bad about Jake. It's been glowing reports from everybody who's worked with him."

Livermore could be in the squad for Saturday's Premier League visit of Sunderland and trained with his new team mates on Friday morning.

Albion will give Jonny Evans a late fitness test with the defender a doubt to face Sunderland with a calf injury while they are also still waiting for confirmation from FIFA that Allan Nyom can play having been left out of Cameroon's African Nations Cup squad.

Sunderland boss David Moyes has admitted he is unlikely to be able to bring in any players this month who could make a "big difference".

The Black Cats are understood to have tabled a bid for Norwich's Robbie Brady, reportedly in the region of B#10million, although Moyes is not expecting any arrivals of that magnitude.

He said: "I'd be kidding you on if I said the players we are going to bring in in January are going to massively make a big difference because first of all, we probably couldn't get that level of player and secondly, we probably wouldn't have the finances to do that.

"To suggest that the player we bring in would be making a big difference, I think, wouldn't be correct."

Moyes' comments came as defender Joleon Lescott, with whom he worked at Everton, trained with the Black Cats on Friday morning following his release by Greek outfit AEK Athens in November.

Whether or not that amounts to anything remains to be seen, but as a free agent, the 34-year-old former England international would represent a low-cost addition to a threadbare squad with injuries and African Nations Cup call-ups having taken their toll.

Twelve months ago, then Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce swooped for Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchhoff and Wahbi Khazri and all three hit the ground running to inspire yet another great escape.

This time around, the landscape on Wearside is very different with successor Moyes describing the limited funds with which he has to play as "limited with a big 'L'".

Speculation surrounding Brady prompted hopes that there might be more leeway, although Moyes was giving nothing away.

Asked about the Republic of Ireland international, he said: "I wouldn't confirm or deny if I was in for any player. I can just tell you that we have been in for a few players and we are trying to see if we can bring things in."

Moyes, who also insisted there had been no fresh offers for either Jermain Defoe or Patrick van Aanholt and was unaware of any interest in Kone from Allardyce's Crystal Palace, will await developments off the pitch as he attempts to secure a first league win in five attempts at West Brom.

The Baggies currently sit in eighth place in the table with Pulis having battled his way through a difficult start to his reign, a source of encouragement for his Black Cats counterpart.

He said: "Tony has done a good job wherever he has gone. Given time, he always puts together a good team, and he has done.

"You can see them beginning to build on what they have done and sometimes it takes a little bit of a while to appreciate how good a job he has done."

Source: PAR