This old adage seems most applicable to West Bromwich Albion at the moment with the Baggies on the verge of re-capturing Zoltan Gera and also showing an interest in former keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, who is not needed by Manchester United.
Why do so many abide by this saying? On paper, it seems that these two players rejoining the club would only strengthen West Brom as they look to consolidate in the Premier League. They would provide that most-valued of qualities, experience, which Albion still lack. Additionally, these two already know the club, the area and in Gera’s case, the head coach Roy Hodgson who brought Gera to Fulham, allowing the club to avoid the “settling in” period that often delays a signings impact.
However, delving deeper into the situation it is clear why some fans may be questioning the potential re-capturing of these two players. Both were well-loved amongst the fans during their previous stints at the Hawthorns, a poor second spell may taint the good memories those fans held. This is very sentimental reasoning, where as the cold truth of it maybe that these two are no longer good enough.
Gera is now 32, although this brings experience it is clear that some of his physical qualities have diminished. Albion are already blessed with midfield riches, is he better than the current incumbents? Kuszczak left Albion as a promising goalkeeper, has 61 games in four years halted his progression? Only time will tell, but can Albion afford to wait?
In this case, I believe that these are two risks worth taking. Although Gera may have lost some pace, there is no doubting he still has the technical ability and that great knack of being in the right place at the right time, something that Albion are in need of - such was the reliance on Peter Odemwingie in terms of goal-scoring last season, with Youssuff Mulumbu the next top goal-scorer on 6 goals, and he was one of two more defensive-minded midfield players used by West Brom last season.
Kuszczsak is a known quantity to West Brom, and although he has had a lack of playing-time he can only have benefited from the experience of Edwin Van Der Sar. He represents a known quantity to the club and has shown on occasions for United the form that got him the move in the first place. He would be seemingly guaranteed first team football at The Hawthorns, something that would definitely appeal to him after so much bench-warming as Van Der Sar's understudy.
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