West Brom complete season-long loan of Spanish full-back Pipa
Albion have wrapped up their summer transfer business late on deadline night with the loan of Spanish right-back Pipa from Bulgarian side Ludogorets.
The 25-year-old will spend the 2023/24 campaign at The Hawthorns and is a player very familiar to Carlos Corberan having previously turned out for both Huddersfield and Olympiacos under the head coach has managed.
The full-back completed his medical in London today after jetting in from Bulgaria. Despite links to out-of-contract USA international Reggie Cannon, who was a possible option, there were never any approaches.
He fills the role Corberan desires as extra competition at right-back, where Albion only had Darnell Furlong as a recognised senior option. Academy graduate Ethan Ingram, 20, meanwhile, was allowed on loan to League Two side Salford City.
Corberan said of Albion's third arrival of the summer: “Pipa is a player I know well having worked with him twice before, and I am delighted to welcome him to the club, particularly as he was so enthusiastic about joining Albion.”
“He is a versatile player with experience of the Championship, Champions League, and La Liga, and he helps cover our needs at right-back and right wing-back.
“It is important we have competition in all positions of the pitch and bringing in Pipa increases our defensive options on the right, as well as allowing a younger player to gain experience on loan.
“I am pleased a player of his experience and professionalism is joining the club for the season."
Pipa is Albion's third and final signing of a tough summer window that has required no shortage in patience both from Corberan and supporters.
The Espanyol academy graduate has been with Bulgarian side Ludogorets since the beginning of this year, having previously spent half-a-season in the Greek Super League with Olympiacos, where Corberan managed after exiting England and Huddersfield.
Pipa spent two seasons with the Terriers, between 2020 and 2022, where he racked up 48 appearances in the Championship, 41 of which were starts, under Corberan.
Albion's boss brought his compatriot to English football a couple of months after he took over as boss at the John Smith's Stadium.
Pipa is comfortable on the right of a back four or at right wing-back, the latter of which Corberan has mostly utilised this term. He scored twice and registered four assists in his first season in Yorkshire, in which the head coach led his side clear of relegation.
A groin injury limited the Spaniard of more regular playing time in his second season, but he was recalled by the head coach for Huddersfield's ultimately unsuccessful Premier League push in the play-offs.
Pipa gained Champions League and Europa League experience with Ludogorets and Olympiacos, where Corberan only spent a short time before an early sacking.
As well as Ingram's temporary switch to League Two, Albion sanctioned a loan for fellow youngster Rayhaan Tulloch, 20, to Bradford, with striker Jovan Malcolm, 20, set to be loan to Cheltenham in League One.
It is understood there was deadline day interest from Sheffield Wednesday in taking midfielder Alex Mowatt on loan, but a move did not progress.