Tony Pulis: West Brom head coach will have final say on transfers says technical director

Nick Hammond
Nicky Hammond spent four years as a player at Reading

New West Brom technical director Nicky Hammond says head coach Tony Pulis will get the final word on transfers this summer.

Hammond, 48, joined the Premier League club at the end of April after ending his 20-year association with Reading.

"I had good relationships with all the managers at Reading and never have I bought a player that the manager didn't want," Hammond told BBC WM 95.6.

"There's no point - from a common-sense perspective, there's no sense to it."

Hammond added: "The challenge is to bring players to the club that will improve the existing squad and that the manager wants.

"The quality of the squad here is very very good and improving on that is not easy.

"There has to be a function that supports it and that's where you have a recruitment process and Tony is part of that.

"He cannot spend weekends watching games in Germany, Spain or France or even the UK - it's impossible.

"The football club purchases the player - that's where the finances come from - but Tony's right at the top of the decision making."

Pulis is 'the leader'

Having worked with the likes of Alan Pardew, Steve Coppell and Brendon Rodgers, former Arsenal goalkeeper Hammond is looking forward to getting to know straight-talking Pulis.

"Anyone who doesn't want a manager with a strong opinion is not a sensible one," Hammond added.

"You need a strong leader and, make no mistake, Tony's the leader.

"We will discuss things but ultimately he is the guy that has to get results and trust the players he has."

Jonathan Leko
Jonathan Leko has played for England at Under-16 and Under-17 level

Kids will keep getting their chance

Seventeen-year-old winger Jonathan Leko created history when he became the first player born in 1999 to play in the Premier League when he made his debut at Sunderland at the start of April.

Leko is the latest from the Baggies' academy to graduate to the first team, while midfielder Tyler Roberts, 18, has been named in three matchday squads this season, including the last two.

Hammond was youth academy director at Reading in 2003 before becoming director of football three years later and he says the club will continue to give the next generation of players the chance to shine.

"Young player development is crucial for this club," he said.

"In my first weekend here, Leko starts and does fantastically well and I've seen the young players integrate with Tony and that's lovely to see.

"It's great source of encouragement going into the summer."

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