West Brom's capture of Rickie Lambert from Liverpool is their third signing of the summer and the most important yet.
Albion were heavily reliant on Saido Berahino for goals last season (he scored 14 of the club's 38 goals in that campaign) and manager Tony Pulis simply couldn't afford to be as dependent on the striker this season. The signing of Lambert should help ease the burden on their lead forward, as it means the club now has two proven Premier League goal-scorers in their squad.
Lambert had a torrid time at Liverpool but he simply wasn't suited to their style of play. At Southampton, Lambert showed exactly what he is capable of at the highest level. In 66 appearances for the Saints over two seasons, Lambert scored 28 goals and also provided 15 assists.
As a sign of his potential impact, Lambert notched twice against another former club of his in Bristol Rovers in his debut for the club in Friday's exhibition. Although it was only in a friendly, he looks like he may be on the way to reproducing his Southamption form for West Brom as the two goals scored demonstrated the kind of threat he will provide. His first was a long-range left-footed strike, which was aided by a deflection. His second showed a different side to his game, finishing smartly in the box after a cross from fellow new boy James McClean.
It is not just Lambert's goal-scoring record that makes him an important signing for West Brom, but also the type of player he is. The England international is a big physical presence who is good in the air, and with West Brom still actively looking to sign at least one more winger, it is clear that Albion will look to get the ball wide and put a lot of crosses into the box, the kind of service which Lambert will thrive on.
The former Liverpool man's ability to hold the ball up makes him the perfect foil for Berahino. The latter prefers to use his pace to play on the last defender and get in behind, which he will now be able to do more often as Lambert will be the main target man. His assist record at Southampton shows that once the England international gets the ball, be it to feet or in the air, he is capable of creating chances for his teammates, something which Berahino should thrive on.
To pick up a player of Lambert's pedigree for a reported fee of £3 million is a very prudent bit of business on the part of the club and Pulis. At 33, Lambert isn't one for the future but what he does represent is an immediate solution to a problem area for West Brom.
Victor Anichebe is a useful option off the bench, but is too injury prone and simply doesn't score enough to be a first choice striker in the Premier League. With doubts surrounding the future of Brown Ideye, as he is rumoured to be drawing interest from clubs in Turkey, it was vital that West Brom managed to bring in at least one striker before the season started.
Ideye showed some signs of promise when Pulis first took over at The Hawthorns, including a spell of four goals in three games against Burnley, Swansea and West Ham. However, he failed to replicate that for the remainder of the season and could be moved on for the right price. West Brom will undoubtedly have to take a loss on their record signing, who has failed to live up to his 10 million pound price tag and that money may well be re-invested in another forward to further aid Berahino and Lambert.
There is some irony that Ideye may be leaving the club just as West Brom are adapting a style of play that would suit him more, as the Nigerian is good in the air and likes balls into the box. The club's strikers should get more of that now as they have some conventional wingers at their disposal.
Lambert's record shows that he is more than cut out to be first choice for a Premier League club, and with the European Championship's coming up in 2016, he will undoubtedly be hoping to show England manager Roy Hodgson that he can still play a part for the national side, perhaps alongside club teammate Berahino.