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Opinion: Why Steve Bruce is right to take current West Brom transfer stance on position amid other priorities



West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Bruce has revealed he isn’t focused on adding another goalkeeper to his squad despite the departure of Sam Johnstone, speaking to Sky Sports.

The 29-year-old is set to join Crystal Palace after rejecting the chance to remain at The Hawthorns, leaving a void in Albion’s goalkeeping department as they look to get back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

However, capable options in David Button and Alex Palmer are able to step up to the plate and with this and their futures secured after seeing both sign new deals, they should be looking to prioritise other areas.

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The first position they desperately need to take a look at is left-back, with Conor Townsend the only senior, orthodox option available for the Baggies at this stage despite Adam Reach’s ability to fill in.

With Bruce looking to play a back four next season though, Reach would be burdened with extra defensive responsibilities and with this, it may be an idea to find a more solid backup for Townsend, even though the latter managed to remain fit throughout the majority of the 2021/22 campaign.

19-year-old Zac Ashworth could emerge as a first-team option for the second-tier outfit for 2022/23 and beyond – but he hasn’t managed to establish himself as a key part of Bruce’s plans like Taylor Gardner-Hickman has and with this, he may benefit from a full season of senior football under his belt elsewhere.

The midfield is another department that arguably needs to be looked at despite Jayson Molumby joining permanently – because an alternative to Jake Livermore could help to provide the freshness that Albion’s manager wants. Hamza Choudhury is still a potential option, though it’s currently unclear whether they will be able to seal an agreement for his services.

And with Wallace’s arrival addressing the wing area and Karlan Grant thriving on the left last season, another striker to replace Andy Carroll will be required to provide and cover for US international Daryl Dike.

Cameron Archer would be an ideal addition – but they may need to pay a loan fee and a sizeable chunk of his wages – so they will need to be smart with the positions they choose to target this summer.

This, combined with John Swift and Wallace’s likely high salary, others in the first team unlikely to be on a modest weekly wage, the fact they spent £7m on Dike and the need to address other areas is why they are wise to opt against targeting the goalkeeping position at this stage as they look to prioritise other positions.

Youngster Josh Griffiths could even be ready to take Albion’s starting place between the sticks in a year or two if he can continue to develop like he has been.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Why Steve Bruce is right to take current West Brom transfer stance on position amid other priorities

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