West Bromwich Albion will begin their quest for success in the Championship on Saturday when they head to the Riverside Stadium to face Middlesbrough.
The Baggies failed to secure an immediate return to the Premier League earlier this year as a failure to deliver the goods on a consistent basis resulted in them finishing 10th in the second-tier standings.
Having bolstered his attacking options by securing the services of Jed Wallace this summer, it will be interesting to see who Albion manager Steve Bruce decides to start in this area of the pitch this weekend.
One of the players who will be pushing for a place in West Brom’s side is Grady Diangana who provided an assist in the club’s pre-season friendly with Hertha Berlin last Saturday.
Diangana struggled to make an impact for the Baggies in the previous campaign.
Despite featuring on 41 occasions in the Championship, the 24-year-old only managed to find the back of the net on two occasions at his level.
Making reference to Diangana, Carlton Palmer has admitted that he believes that the winger will need to take his opportunity to impress and doesn’t believe that he will be included in West Brom’s starting eleven when the new term gets underway.
Speaking to Football League World about Diangana, Palmer said: “It’s a difficult one because he’s a fair player and without a shadow of doubt he’s got plenty of ability.
“But the problem is, those types of players need players around them to make them tick.
“He’s not going to be the type of player to go into a side and make the side tick, he needs good players around him to allow him to play his best football.
“I think Steve Bruce has got that now.
“I don’t think he’ll start in the side, he’ll definitely be on the bench and I think in a long season in the Championship, there’s plenty of games, there’s injuries and suspensions, he’s going to get his opportunity this season and he’s got to take it because he’s now coming into his prime.
“He can’t be seen year after year as somebody with potential and not really showing that potential.
“So I think he’s got the opportunity this season.
“I don’t think he’ll start the season for West Brom but he’s got the opportunity and now it’s the time for him to take it.”
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Palmer makes a valid point about Diangana as he does need to start to showcase his ability on more of a consistent basis for West Brom.
After providing 15 direct goal contributions in the Championship during the 2019/20 campaign, the winger would have been hoping to replicate these performances at this level in the previous term.
However, Diangana only illustrated glimpses of his ability last season as he averaged an underwhelming WhoScored match rating of 6.39 in the second-tier.
Set to face competition for a place in West Brom’s side from Wallace, Karlan Grant, Matt Phillips and Callum Robinson, Diangana will need to step up to the mark when he is called upon in order to boost his chances of claiming a regular spot in the club’s starting eleven.