The record-breaking transfer window of 2017

Five years on from our promotion to the Premier League, we look at the signings who bolstered our ranks as we prepared for our top-flight return.

By Charlie Hanson • 14 June 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Jose Izquierdo scored some iconic goals during his time with Albion.

Excitement levels for Premier League football at the Amex had already surpassed fever pitch by the time the transfer window opened in the summer of 2017, but the interest in who we would recruit would also reach new heights.

Chris Hughton and the recruitment team were going to have to go for the astute rather than the outlandish when it came to bringing players in.

Pascal Gross – Signed from: Ingolstadt 04

By Paul Hazlewood
Pascal Gross extended his stay with Albion until 2024 in recent weeks.
  • Albion appearances: 170*
  • Goals: 17
  • Assists: 29

Venturing out of Germany for the first time in his career, Pascal became our first signing as a Premier League club. No pressure. Arriving as a No.10 for what would now be regarded at this level as a nominal fee, his new manager said he offered something different.

Hughton said at the time, "We see Pascal as an attacking midfielder in a more advanced position, operating behind the forward line."

Picking the 13 shirt went against the cultural grain, but it proved to be the German’s lucky number as he played in every Premier League match in his debut season, netting seven times and scooping our Player of the Season award.

One of a handful of survivors from that squad still pulling on an Albion shirt, Pascal’s iconic turns, set-piece prowess and big goals have been an ever present for the last five years.

Maty Ryan – Signed from: Valencia

By Paul Hazlewood
Mat Ryan was Albion's first choice keeper for three-and-a-half years.
  • Albion appearances: 123
  • Clean sheets: 27

The Australia international arrived with a good pedigree, having made a name for himself in Europe with the likes of Club Brugge, Genk and Valencia.

Those feelings were certainly reflected by Hughton, as he welcomed his new goalkeeper, "For somebody of Mathew's age, he has very good experience, having played in the top divisions in Australia, Belgium and Spain. He has also competed in European competition and made a number of appearances at international level."

Maty would prove to be a stalwart in our team for the first three-and-a-half years of his stay here, while his penalty shoot-out heroics against Millwall would see us reach an FA Cup semi-final for the first time since 1983.

A loan with Arsenal for the second half of the 2020/21 season all but brought an end to his time at the Amex before he left permanently for Real Sociedad at the end of that campaign.

Steven Alzate – Signed from: Leyton Orient

By Paul Hazlewood
Steven Alzate joined from Leyton Orient, after the O's had been relegated from the EFL.
  • Albion appearances: 50*
  • Goals: 2
  • Assists: 2

Calamity on and off the field for Leyton Orient brought an end to a 101-year stay in the Football League. Such was the O’s plight, they’d been forced to play a number of youngsters, giving the likes of Steven Alzate his chance.

Having made his Orient debut at the age of 17 in February 2017, the clever midfielder caught Albion’s eye as he impressed despite the League Two club’s relegation.

He went onto make his Premier League debut for us in September 2019 and has been a regular in our matchday squads ever since.

Davy Propper – Signed from: PSV Eindhoven

By Paul Hazlewood
Davy Propper made 121 appearances in all competitions for Albion.
  • Albion appearances: 121
  • Goals: 2
  • Assists: 9

We were all gutted to read of Davy’s retirement earlier this year, having fallen out of love with the game at just 30-years-old.

Signing five days before the 2017/18 season kicked off, Propper broke the club’s transfer record as he joined from PSV Eindhoven.

Hughton said, "There is no doubting his pedigree, Davy has played a number of matches in the Champions League for PSV as well as international football for the Netherlands. He will complement our existing midfield players and he is also a really good age."

Davy featured regularly for the first three years of his time here, before an injury disrupted his fourth campaign and limited his appearances. He returned to PSV in 2021, before calling time on his career in January.

Jose Izquierdo – Signed from: Club Brugge

By Paul Hazlewood
Jose Izquierdo left Albion at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
  • Albion appearances: 54
  • Goals: 5
  • Assists: 6

Record broken, again. But as Chris Hughton said at the time, getting Jose in the building proved to be a headache.

"This has been a very complex deal, but I am absolutely delighted we are finally in a position to confirm it is completed. He's a very exciting player to watch, and along with that excitement he will bring pace and creativity to the team; he also has an excellent goalscoring record."

Chris wasn’t lying. The winger fired in incredible goals against West Ham (home and away) as well as finishing off a passing move against Stoke City that Arsene Wenger no doubt watches before he goes to bed every night.

Injuries blighted the rest of the Columbian’s career on the south coast, and he missed out on first team action for two-and-a-half years before returning in a defeat at Sheffield United in April 2021. His first involvement in that game saw him nearly find the bottom corner after a typically tricky run.

Ezequiel Schelotto - Signed from: Sporting Lisbon

By Geoff Penn
Galgo joined Albion from Sporting Lisbon.
  • Albion appearances: 32
  • Goals: 1
  • Clean sheets: 3

A deadline day deal, Ezequiel or Galgo as he would be better known, joined from Sporting Lisbon.

Born in Argentina but having spent all but one season in Italian football, Galgo arrived with decent experience, having turned out for the likes of Inter Milan and Atalanta, as well as winning a single cap for Italy.

Hughton said, “He has made nearly 190 appearances in the top-flight in Italy and Portugal and played in the Champions League and is the type of experienced player we want to add to the squad. He can also play as a more attacking wing-back and so gives us some good options in defence.”

Ezequiel featured 32 times for Albion during his three years, notably playing in home wins over Arsenal in 2018 and 2020.

*Still plays for the club