Championship outfit West Bromwich Albion will have until the third week of May to trigger their option to extend Romaine Sawyers’ contract by a further 12 months, according to a report from Stoke-on-Trent Live.
The 30-year-old was left out in the cold by Valerien Ismael in the early stages of this season, preferring Alex Mowatt and Jake Livermore as options in the middle of the park despite him making a respectable 19 Premier League appearances during the 2020/21 campaign.
With the Frenchman deeming him surplus to requirements, he secured a season-long loan move to second-tier rivals Stoke City, appearing 23 times in the league this term and recording two goals and three assists in the process.
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His future beyond the end of the campaign is uncertain though with the midfielder’s contract at The Hawthorns expiring in the summer and Stoke’s stance on a potential permanent deal remaining unclear at this stage.
Jayson Molumby making his loan move to Albion from Brighton and Hove Albion a permanent one could be detrimental to Sawyers’ prospects of first-team football in the West Midlands, though the fact Steve Bruce is in charge with a different formation could be a game-changer for the 30-year-old.
Albion are guaranteed to be in the second tier next season, unable to be consistent enough to be in the promotion mix and this may give officials at The Hawthorns a sufficient amount of time to consider the midfielder’s future.
And his future may become clearer in the coming weeks with the West Midlands outfit only having until the third week of May to trigger their one-year extension on his deal if they want to guarantee they have his services for the 2022/23 campaign.
Although the midfielder could revive his career at The Hawthorns and he certainly has the ability to be an asset in the second tier, it does feel like a natural time for the two parties to move on with the 30-year-old needing regular first-team football.
However, if the Baggies are desperate, they may need to renew his deal to give themselves a sufficient number of options in the middle of the park, something they didn’t even have under Ismael despite the fact he only operated with two central midfielders.
Some would argue the inclusion of Taylor Gardner-Hickman will help to compensate for this lack of depth, but in reality, he has only filled the hole Robert Snodgrass left when he departed the second-tier side earlier this calendar year.
Rico Richards and Quevin Castro may have a role to play next term – but more options are needed in midfield and that should provide Sawyers with a little bit of hope in terms of receiving plenty of pitch minutes next season.
He will have to do a considerable amount to force his way past the likes of Mowatt and Livermore in the pecking order though, so it will be interesting to see whether Sawyers actually wants to remain in the Midlands or not.