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
Dara O’Shea is set to be out with an injury for the next four months, according to Football Insider.
The 22-year-old has been a key player Valerien Ismael in the early parts of the season, playing every minute of their opening five Championship fixtures and chipping in with two goals from the back.
But the defender played in Republic of Ireland’s 2-1 defeat to Portugal in their World Cup qualifying campaign on Wednesday, and was replaced by Andrew Omobamidele on 36 minutes.
According to Football Insider, that injury is now set to be sidelined for four months after having a scan in Dublin and assessments at West Brom.
Here, we discuss this blow for Albion…
Considering that Matt Clarke has already been experiencing injury issues so far this season at West Brom, losing Dara O’Shea for a prolonged period is a major blow for the Baggies.
Valerien Ismael has made O’Shea a key part of his strongest possible starting line-up since taking over that the Hawthorns. That comes with the defender maturing into an excellent defender that perfectly suits the role he is being asked to play in their back-three.
West Brom do have alternative options within their squad with the likes of Cederic Kipre and Semi Ajayi able to step into the side, but there might even be a question of whether they should look at the free-agent market to bring in another option now that O’Shea is injured.
It is a major shame that O’Shea has picked up an injury just as he was beginning to really show his quality and enjoying the best period in his career in terms of his personal form.
However, the defender should be able to recover and get back to his best and having him available for the latter part of the campaign might make a major difference for West Brom’s promotion bid.
This could be a game-changer for West Brom who had enjoyed a reasonably successful start to the campaign – and O’Shea was a big part of that.
Not only has he defended well, but he also proved to be an attacking threat in the box with his stature and managed to get himself on the scoresheet two times for the Baggies so far this season.
He would’ve continued to be a major thorn in the side of opponents with Darnell Furlong’s long-throws – but will now be out for quite a while and manager Valerien Ismael will be especially gutted after seeing the Irishman fit into his system so well.
With his absence and Matt Clarke also on the sidelines, there is a real need to dip into the free-agent market now to bolster their options in central defence and Kean Bryan is probably the ideal candidate to come in.
That deal happening may depend on how much of a blow this O’Shea injury is, but it’s a blow nonetheless for the 22-year-old who already has a decent amount of domestic and international experience under his belt for his age.
Thankfully, the Baggies have Kyle Bartley and Semi Ajayi who can both do a good job, but a third man may need to come in if Ismael wants to retain his system.
His system has been the key to success so far this season, so it’s definitely something they need to continue with.
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Dara O’Shea has made a mightily impressive start to the season for West Brom.
He is such a mature figure in The Baggies’ backline, possessing the ability to play the ball out from the back in tight scenarios, as well as shining at the more physical side of the game.
His absence will be a big blow for the promotion-aspiring Midlands club, but they have very a very strong option in Semi Ajayi who can slot in seamlessly.
O’Shea also showed his ability last season, despite being a part of the West Brom side who were relegated from the Premier League.
The young defender has a very bright future in football, and whilst this set-back will temporarily halt his progress, one would think that he still has a very big part to play this season.