West Brom’s transfer brains trust will doubtless be feeling fairly smug after the weekend’s Africa Cup of Nations action in Equatorial Guinea.
It can be taken as a fair vindication of their eye for a goal-scoring winger after a former Hawthorns loanee and a widely reported January target were both among the goals.
The latter is Wolverhampton Wanderers’ winger Bakary Sako, who ghosted in at the back post to lash in an authoritative volley against the Ivory Coast.
It was his eighth strike of an impressive season on all fronts.
West Midlands paper the Express and Star ran a story today in which Sako’s Wolves teammate Rajiv van la Parra reiterated the former Saint Etienne man’s importance to the club.
However, the Molineux outfit could be tempted to cash in on the 26-year-old now rather than lose him gratis in the summer when his contract in Wolverhampton runs out.
The same news outlet suggest that the Baggies head a queue of interested Premier League parties that’s now at least three deep.
Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers are the other sides that will continue to monitor his progress.
However, as good as Sako’s fizzing strike may have been, he is still being outshone by 2013/14 loanee Thievy Bifouma.
The Congo Brazzaville forward has bagged in his first two games at the tournament, taking his tally to five goals in 11 starts since the France Under-21 international pledged his future to the Red Devils.
His most recent net-bulger set Claude Le Roy’s side on their way to a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso that sealed a progression to the quarter-finals deemed unlikely before the start of the tournament.
A constant threat with his dribbling the 22-year-old’s performance is unlikely to have been lost on Tony Pulis, against whose Crystal Palace side Bifouma shone on his Baggies’ debut last term.
West Brom are 19/10 to complete the double over Tottenham when the Lilywhites visit the Hawthorns in their next Premier League outing.