West Brom boss Carlos Corberan has said a decision will be made on the immediate future of Caleb Taylor amid a lack of Championship chances for the youngster.
West Brom academy graduate Taylor spent last season on loan at Cheltenham Town and made a brilliant impression with the Robins. He was able to hold down a starting spot in the back five of a solid defensive side, playing 49 times across all competitions.
After impressing in his first senior loan, many had tipped Taylor for a chance in Corberan’s squad this season but with three Championship games down, the 20-year-old is yet to be involved in a league matchday squad.
He played 90 minutes in the EFL Cup loss to Stoke City, but that remains his only involvement to date.
As a result, questions of a potential late window move have been asked and now, Corberan has been directly quizzed on the matter. While speaking in length to Birmingham Live, the Spaniard highlighted Taylor’s promise but expressed a need for him to learn how to play in a back four, with most League One sides operating a back five.
Later, he admitted a decision needs to be made on his future, saying:
“What will happen is that here, Taylor will get some ideas.
“Probably out of here he will get some minutes that, right now, I cannot guarantee here. It’s true that any minutes he might play out of here that he is going to play will be similar to last year, because 90% of League One teams play with a five, but here we can manage him in a different way. That’s why I need to make a decision.
“We need to see what happens in the market. He is a player that I like. I cannot yet say that he needs to go on loan. The last year, I made a decision to bring [Josh] Griffiths back a third keeper, to start to help him with the ideas we had. In the end, he was playing games. These plans change.”
What’s the best option?
It’s a tough decision for Corberan to make, and not an easy one for Taylor either.
Game time is needed for his development but the West Brom boss is keen for him to learn how to play in a back four. If a League One team who operates in that system can be found, then that could be ideal for the young defender.
If not though, a stay at The Hawthorns could be beneficial, even if it means game time is limited. Learning the ways of Corberan’s system for a year could stand him in good stead for a breakthrough next year, but a whole season of getting limited minutes in cup action isn’t beneficial, and going back to youth football is something Taylor is a bit too good for at this stage.
Time will tell how the situation pans out, but it will be one to watch in the closing stages of the window.