Tony Pulis: West Brom Signed Kieran Gibbs for £7M Less Than Arsenal Originally Wanted
West Bromich Albion boss Tony Pulis has revealed the unusual circumstances in which he managed to sign Kieran Gibbs from Arsenal, following the full back's move to Watford falling through.
As reported by the Express & Star, the former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager confirmed that he managed to pull off the shrewd signing of the 27-year-old for just £5m, after originally being quoted £12m by the north London club earlier in the summer.
Pulis is a big fan of 'unnatural' full backs, often shoehorning centre backs or midfielders into the wide defensive areas, so his capture of Gibbs would have come as a pleasant surprise for West Brom fans.
Pulis said: “I just thought Gibbs was too expensive, the £12m that Arsenal were talking about at the beginning of the season was too much. To get him for £5m over a period of time now is a good deal for us.”
Gibbs made his debut for the club in the recent 3-1 loss to Brighton, playing a part in the Midland club's only goal of the game.
A lot has been made of the England international's fitness issues throughout his career, but Pulis is confident that he can get the full back on the right path through a personalised training programme.
He said: “We’ve got to get him fit. I think he has struggled with injuries and that’s been a big factor at times in his career. You look at him and he’s a racehorse – he’s quick. He’s different to Grzegorz (Krychowiak), who’s a lot stronger physically and ‘Burkey’ (Oliver Burke), who are a lot stronger physically.
“So we’re going to have to be careful with Gibbo in that respect to make sure he knows that there are certain things you have to do to maintain your fitness at this level.
“At the moment that’s the big issue. With Gibbs, he needs training and a lot more core and strength work to maintain his fitness.”