Bristol City signed Taylor Gardner-Hickman on loan from West Brom this summer.
Gardner-Hickman ventures away from West Brom for the first time, joining Championship rivals Bristol City on loan in a deal that raised a few eyebrows.
The 21-year-old wasn’t a nailed-on starter for West Brom, but he looked set to play an important, albeit rotational role under Carlos Corberan this season, so loaning him to a league rival received mixed reactions.
He’s since turned out twice for his new side, starting the last outing against Swansea City which ended in a 2-1 win for the Robins, who now sit in 8th place of the Championship table.
An option to buy?
Bristol Live previously reported that the Robins do in fact have an option to buy Gardner-Hickman, at the end of the season, and for a fee in the region of £1.3million.
And West Brom may well be expecting, or at least hoping that Bristol City take up that option to buy given their financial issues; if not then loaning Gardner-Hickman out for this season may prove to be a waste of time from the Baggies’ perspective.
For the player though, this loan spell could really aid his development.
He’s clearly a player with ability, and versatility too, being able to play in numerous roles in midfield and defence. But West Brom have some quality name in both departments and so Gardner-Hickman would’ve been limited to a back-up role this season.
Both West Brom and Bristol City could be in the mix for a place in the play-offs this season; Corberan’s Baggies currently sit in 11th place of the table after a mixed, but fairly steady start to the season, and it’s Bristol City who they face in their next outing.
It would be fairly safe to assume that Gardner-Hickman is ineligible to feature in this one.