Only played 201 minutes: Alan Irvine flop now a MVP trophy winner after West Brom exit – opinion

West Bromwich Albion have had many players come and go in recent years but do you remember Sebastian Blanco? Probably not.

The Argentinian winger was signed by ex-Baggies boss Alan Irvine in the summer of 2014 for just £2m from Metalist Kharkiv and even though the Midlands outfit enjoyed a pretty decent season by finishing 13th, Blanco was a truly forgotten man.

Irvine talked up his credentials after signing him, he said: “He’s a very talented player and a very two-footed footballer. He can cross the ball well, shoot with both feet. You’ll also see him score with both feet – some terrific goals too – if you look at his clips. He’s got an understanding of the game.”

But the two-time international only mustered up a total of 201 minutes in an Albion shirt across five first-team appearances, making him one massive flop.

Where is Blanco now?

portland timbers midfielder sebastian blanco shoots vs new york mls e1602425129233 - Only played 201 minutes: Alan Irvine flop now a MVP trophy winner after West Brom exit - opinion

Speaking about his time at West Brom, Blanco told The Athletic that is was “one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made,” and since his departure, he has certainly found his feet with spells at San Lorenzo and now Portland Timbers in the Major League Soccer.

He cost the MLS side around $4m (£3m) and has thrived ever since.

The 32-year-old has provided 33 goals and 32 assists from 121 appearances, via Transfermarkt, which means he’s contributing a little over 0.5 goals each time he takes the field for the Timbers.

Blanco played an integral role during their run in the MLS is Back tournament, scoring in the semi-final against Philadelphia Union before going onto win the competition. The winger scored or assisted in every game bar the final.

He was even named as the Player of the Tournament, beating Orlando City and former Manchester United winger Nani in the voting.

Those at the Hawthorns may not even remember his name, and they can be forgiven as he was barely given an opportunity, but clearly, he has thrived in new surroundings.

AND in other news, West Brom £20m target shows what they’re missing with gargantuan display…

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