Tony Pulis: West Bromwich Albion need 'at least five new players' to compete

Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis became West Brom boss in January 2015

West Brom manager Tony Pulis says the club need to sign "almost half a team" if they are to compete this season.

The Baggies, who are in the process of being sold to a Chinese investment group, have so far only signed winger Matt Phillips this summer.

"I don't think the owners will spend billions, but the club needs a lift," Pulis told BBC WM.

"We need five players to come in and make a difference straightaway - we need almost half a team."

Talking before Albion's opening Premier League game at Crystal Palace on Saturday, Pulis added: "That has to be done - the players and supporters are waiting for them."

While the deal to sell the club to an investment group led by entrepreneur Guochuan Laiwas was agreed in June, the sale is dependent on approval from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Premier League.

West Brom, who finished six points clear of relegation in 14th last season, were set to sign West Ham striker Diafra Sakho only to pull out of the deal this month because of concerns about the player's fitness.

After selling Wales defender James Chester to Aston Villa, Pulis says new arrivals must be established first-team players capable of complementing emerging talent already on their books.

"People have said we need one or two, but we need at least five players immediately for us to be strong enough to compete this year," Pulis said.

"We've got three outstanding young players in the group as it is - Sam Field, Jonathan Leko and Kane Wilson. They've been in the group all pre-season and been absolutely fantastic - they've got bright futures here."

Berahino saga set to continue

Pulis is adamant unsettled striker Saido Berahino, who is wanted by Stoke City, will not be sold until a suitable replacement can be found, especially after the failure to sign Sakho.

"We've got to get someone in - we have to do that first," Pulis said.

"We can't have a situation where it's just Salomon Rondon and Rickie Lambert - we're light at that end of the pitch."

Saido Berahino
Saido Berahino was the subject of two unsuccessful £20m bids from Crystal Palace and Stoke City this summer

The arrival of prospective new owners has led to speculation about Pulis' future, but with 12 months remaining on his deal at the The Hawthorns the former Stoke and Crystal Palace boss says he "wants to see this through".

"I've got a year left on my contract and we'll go from there - I'm more concerned about getting the players in and doing it for the supporters," he said.

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