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West Brom signing this 27-year-old Albanian star for free would be an absolute steal ahead of a crucial season

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West Brom Opinion: Why the Baggies should quickly snap up Ivan Balliu

According to a report from the Birmingham Mail, West Brom are interested in signing Albania international Ivan Balliu this summer.

Balliu, 27, is without a club after refusing to extend his contract at Ligue 1 outfit FC Metz. He is a right-back who spent seven years in Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy between 2004 and 2011.

A move to England is a dream for the Albania international and West Brom could now be willing to gift him the opportunity to play in the Championship, the report adds.

West Brom boss Slaven Bilic has managed to sign only one player in the summer transfer window so far – Filip Krovinovic joining on a season-long loan from Benfica. The Croatian tactician needs to add more players to his squad as the Baggies are expected to mount a promotion challenge this term.

Bilic is keen on adding to his right-back options, with Allan Nyom set to leave the Hawthorns this season.

Nyom, 31, who spent last season on loan at La Liga side Leganes, is currently in talks with Getafe over a potential return to Spain. Meanwhile, West Brom have also lost Craig Dawson, Tosin Adarabioyo and Mason Holgate in what has been a difficult summer so far.

Balliu is seen as a like-for-like replacement for Nyom. The 27-year-old can also play at left-back which highlights his versatility that can be handy for Bilic’s side. However, it’s at right-back that he really flourishes, using a variety of skills and his agility to keep the opposition attackers at bay.

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Combine that with his work ethic, passing ability and a rather great sense of position, and it makes him a good addition to the West Brom backline.

It’s a move that the Baggies have to make to strengthen their defence following the departures of some key players this summer.


Balliu is a player who clearly has a decent pedigree, having risen through the ranks at Barcelona. On a free transfer, he’ll definitely be worth a gamble.