This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Regular Punter’ series, where we gather original opinions from select, passionate fans of the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…
Football League World’s West Bromwich Albion pundit Sarah Rudge has suggested the signing of in-demand free agent Saul Shotton would be “a huge coup for the club”.
According to BBC Sport, the Baggies are close to completing the signing of the 18-year-old centre-back, who has been left without a club following Bury’s expulsion from the EFL.
The teenager made six appearances for Bury in the 2016/17 campaign but did not feature for the first-team last season.
Rudge suggested the signing of Shotton was a smart move by West Brom as he will have the chance to develop at the Hawthorns.
She said: “Shotton would be a good signing for us. Coming in as a free agent would mean there is no real gamble and at just 18-years-old, there is plenty of room for development and improvement.
“We currently have Ahmed Hegazi, Kyle Bartley and Semi Ajayi as our centre-back options along with youngster Dara O’Shea, who is breaking through into the first team.
“Shotton should provide good competition in that area and with our academy having such a good reputation he would receive the best support as he aims to develop and mature his game ready for the first team in a few years.”
A number of other Championship sides, including Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County and Preston North End were reportedly also pursuing him, and Rudge claimed it was pleasing that it appeared he was set to choose the Baggies.
She added: “I also heard that Watford were interested in him so for us to beat off Premier League competition is a huge coup for the club.
“It would appear that Slaven Bilic has shown Shotton something that West Brom have that perhaps the other clubs don’t.
“Derby and Sheffield Wednesday are big Championship clubs, so it would be great if we can acquire Shotton ahead of them.”
West Brom’s one-all draw with Fulham on Saturday saw them drop to sixth in the Championship.
They now face a visit from Huddersfield Town and their new boss Danny Cowley on Sunday.