Moments ago, Goran Popov wrote on his facebook timeline that he will be leaving West Brom at the end of the season.
The announcement by Popov was expected since he was not in the plans of West Brom manager Pepe Mel. Goran was brought over to England by then coach Steve Clarke, but he was relieved of his duties earlier this season after a poor run of form. So, with his exit and the arrival of Mel, the writing was on the wall for Popov. In the last two matches for West Brom, with starting left-back Liam Ridgewell out with an injury, Mel still did not include Popov in the matchday squad. That spoke wonders of Mel’s opinion of Popov.
On his facebook timeline, this is what Popov wrote about an hour ago, “Just want to say I will be leaving west brom at end of season just want to say a big thank you to the Albion fans for there support last few years.”
Goran was serving his second consecutive yearly loan to West Brom from Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv. Last season, Clarke alternated Popov and Ridgewell for most of the year, relying on form, but this season Ridgewell was exclusively the starter at left-back both under Clarke and Mel.
Popov did not play well in his limited opportunities this season, and drew the ire of many West Brom supporters with his play. Last season, meanwhile, the fans came up with a song for him “Popov the Albion Man” and seemed to express mostly positive sentiments. However, as started earlier, that changed this season.
It is unclear what the future holds for Popov. He signed a 5 year contract with Dynamo Kyiv back in the summer of 2010, so that means his deal with them expires next summer. It is unlikely that Dynamo Kyiv would keep Popov since they have moved on and signed other players at the left-back position. Thus, there is a good bet that Popov will be loaned once again to another club, or possibly be allowed to terminate his contract a year early and become a free agent.
Earlier this year, Goran was supposed to be loaned to Bolton, a second division side, but the move was blocked by England’s football association. Basically, since Popov was already on loan with West Brom (but his rights still owned by Dynamo Kyiv), he could not then be loaned again to another club outside of the winter transfer window. The Popov to Bolton rumors occurred in mid February, so outside the transfer window.
Popov made a total of 14 league appearances for West Brom over the past two seasons.