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West Brom learn transfer lessons from two years ago

West Bromwich Albion are confident they have learnt their lessons from two years ago, reports the Birmingham Mail. The Baggies set-out their transfer stall within 24 hours of promotion being sealed, revealing they would seek players on lower transfer fees but at more competitive Premier League-standard wages.

The arrival of 10 new players and improved contracts signed by seven players during the summer has taken Albion's player liability - worked out as the amount needed to supplement each squad member over the course of their contract - to about £30million more than last season.

Dan Ashworth, the club's sporting and technical director, believes the club got it wrong two years ago when they went for younger players, on higher transfer fees but lower wages.

"We had to learn our lessons from two years ago, not least with the balance of experience and personnel," Ashworth told the Birmingham Mail.

"Our midfield at the time, for instance, included players who were mainly around 5ft 9ins, great technical footballers but not physically big.

"This time we wanted the right blend - those with potential, mixed with players of proven Premier League experience. We had good days and bad during the window.

"A lot of supporters think it's like Championship Manager - I press a button and buy him, I press another button and sell him.

"Yet it's so far away from that and it's incredibly frustrating.

"You think you're close to getting one and it doesn't happen.

"Others you're a long way from getting and, all of a sudden, they become available, such as Paul Scharner who was our number one choice for that position yet by the time we'd signed him we'd been looking at our numbers two and three for that position."

Ashworth gave an insight into Roberto Di Matteo's role in dealing with transfer targets, admitting that Albion's result against Sunderland also helped matters.

"We have to be honest, we're a newly promoted team who aren't the most attractive to seasoned professionals," he added.

"We're not first pick. Players on the top of the list might want to see what else there is. I think it did help that we beat Sunderland.

"I speak with Robbie on transfers all the time and his contribution is vital. With Paul Scharner, for instance, Robbie called him and they spoke in German at length. Little things like that are vital and Robbie has bought into that."

 Need your West Bromwich Albion news fix? Click here for all Baggies news and transfer rumours.

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