This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Brom manager Valerien Ismael has revealed that Rayhaan Tulloch could be back in the fold at the club in the next week or two after recovering from injury.
The youngster has a lot of high hopes around him and Ismael, of course, will be eager to help him progress as much as he can.
Will he be involved much this season in the first-team, though? Our writers take a look…
He’s going to be restricted to a role from the bench at best, that’s the reality.
Jordan Hugill’s impact from the bench against Derby County suggests he needs to be the focal point for Albion moving forward as he is the most physical striker who is able to play with his back to goal.
If that happens, it means that there are two places up for grabs, with Callum Robinson, Matt Phillips, Karlan Grant and Grady Diangana all options available to Ismael. Unfortunately for Tulloch, it’s hard to see how he gets ahead of any of those four players, although it’s down to him to show in training that he deserves a chance.
Of course, injuries and form will play a part but you would imagine that the youngster is going to have a huge battle to get near the pitch. If that proves to be the case, then a January loan move could be best for his development.
I don’t think Tulloch is someone who is going to be breaking into Valerien Ismael’s regular plans this season – despite the fact he is quite technically gifted.
We were supposed to see what he could do at League One level last season in a loan move to Doncaster Rovers, but an early-season hamstring injury killed those plans off so we’re none the wiser.
He’s made one cameo appearance off the bench this season against Blackburn but since then, Jordan Hugill has been added to Ismael’s plans and Robert Snodgrass is returning from a lay-off, so that’s two players who have already leapfrogged him in the pecking order.
Until January it does seem like Tulloch’s only real chance of game-time will be in the under-23’s Premier League and whilst that’s all well and good, at 20 years old he could have done with securing a season-long loan move to a top League One team.
He could very well be on the fringes of the matchday squad occasionally but I don’t envisage Tulloch playing much and when the January transfer window opens I expect the Baggies to find him a club where he can do some damage in the EFL.
Whilst Tulloch clearly possesses a great deal of talent, it would be a shock if he is able to force his way into West Brom’s starting eleven when he does make his return to full fitness.
Having only made six senior appearances for the Baggies during his career to date, the 20-year-old may struggle to adapt to the competitiveness that the Championship is famed for.
Furthermore, when you consider that West Brom are currently able to call upon the services of Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson, Tulloch could find it difficult to overtake this particular duo in the pecking order at The Hawthorns.
If Tulloch is not able to feature regularly for the Baggies in the coming months, Ismael may find it beneficial to loan him out during the January transfer window as sending him to a team in a lower division may do wonders for his development.