West Brom should have a good chance to rebuild their ranks at the end of the season, with Carlos Corberan taking the reins for his first summer transfer window.
West Brom could yet earn promotion back to the Premier League with only four points separating themselves and the top-six.
Regardless of the outcome of this season though, centre-back will be an area the Baggies needs to address. Apart from Dara O’Shea, long-term options are few and far between. Erik Pieters is 34 while Kyle Bartley and Semi Ajayi don’t look like they’ll have long-standing roles to play.
However, before hunting new recruits, the Baggies must give a chance to 20-year-old Caleb Taylor.
Impressing out on loan…
Taylor has been in and around West Brom’s first-team before but this has been his first full season of regular senior action. He joined Cheltenham Town on a season-long deal last summer and despite the Robins’s struggles, he’s been a huge hit with Wade Elliott’s side.
The Baggies academy starlet has stood out in a tough season for the Robins, nailing down a starting XI place. He’s played 37 times across all competitions, providing a committed figure at the back. He’s been a serious aerial presence, averaging a hefty 5.8 aerial duels won per game. His 7.12 average match rating from WhoScored ranks him among the third-tier’s best for the season too.
Academy talents, when given their chance, often show their hunger and desire more so than senior players, and that has been the case for Taylor at Cheltenham. West Brom could certainly do with some youthful exuberance like that given the ages of their current centre-back options.
Nurturing and developing Taylor so he can maximise his potential at The Hawthorns needs to be considered as a matter of importance for Corberan, and by bringing him into the fold next season, the Baggies could have a serious talent on their hands.
It remains to be seen how their season pans out, but West Brom need to keep Taylor for next season, especially if they’re embarking on another campaign of Championship football.