Derby County centre-back Curtis Davies has picked out Karlan Grant, Callum Robinson and Grady Diangana as three players his side will need to be wary of when they meet West Bromwich Albion on Monday afternoon, speaking to the Rams’ media team.
For a side that have failed to be clinical enough in front of goal at various points this season, the reason why they are currently targeting Orlando City forward Daryl Dike and numerous others, it is perhaps a surprise that the 36-year-old has picked out three attackers as ones to watch in this one.
However, one forward that can arguably hold his head up high after making a decent start to the season is ex-Huddersfield Town man Grant, who struggled to adapt to life at The Hawthorns last term but has fought back and thrived in the Championship this season.
Quiz: Can you name which club West Brom sold these 26 players to?
Scoring nine goals in 23 league appearances during the 2021/22 campaign thus far, he could reach the 20-goal mark by the end of the season after becoming the Baggies’ main talisman but he will need help if he wants to guide the club back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Robinson has had an average season in front of goal after scoring three goals in his opening three league matches of this season, but did score the winner against Reading earlier this month to secure three precious points against Reading and will be looking to build on that.
Winger Diangana has arguably struggled the most out of the three, recording just one goal and one assist in 20 games and is at real risk of dropping out of the starting lineup for an extended amount of time if manager Valerien Ismael can recruit the players he wants.
Derby defender Davies was more complimentary about the 23-year-old and his teammates though, saying: “They (West Brom) have just dropped down to fourth now with Blackburn’s recent form but they are still there or there abouts and are maybe four or five points off the top and that’s only because they’ve been in some sticky form themselves.
“Luckily for them, above them, Bournemouth and Fulham have slipped up too and it’s given them a chance. For us, it’s about battling for second balls and showing quality when we get the opportunities.
“West Brom, if they do play that way, they have got a lot of quality throughout their team with the likes of Diangana, Robinson, Grant and they have got quality if the ball is on the floor then they are able to use it so we need to be prepared for whatever team is put out first and foremost, but also if they change the way they do things.”
The obvious omission here is Jordan Hugill.
Although Davies may not have intended to leave him out, it’s perhaps a damning indictment of the Norwich City loanee’s time at The Hawthorns thus far, because he hasn’t been able to make any sort of impact.
At this stage, a recall would undoubtedly be the best possible option for the 29-year-old in a bid to earn another loan move to a different club.
He may be playing regular football, but his confidence will be at an all-time low right now and for his sake, it’s probably time for Dean Smith’s side to take him out of that environment.
Moving on to the three, Grant deserves a mention for bouncing back well from such a disappointing first season at the club.
He’s proving many people wrong right now but the next barrier now is getting to double figures, an assignment he is more than likely to pass given the number of games there are still to go.
Regardless, a striker is needed to boost their promotion chances and this is where the West Brom board need to step up – because they need to inject the money required to bring in a top-quality addition.
Whether they will do so remains to be seen, but on paper, Albion should be winning their upcoming tie at Pride Park with the quality they have all over the pitch.