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Opinion: Why West Brom need to loan out 20-year-old despite Snodgrass exit links

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West Bromwich Albion’s midfield conundrum is one they desperately need to address in the coming months.

Jake Livermore and Alex Mowatt may have formed a formidable combination in the middle of the park in the early stages of the 2021/22 campaign, helping their side go unbeaten in their opening ten league matches, but that duo has been broken up frequently since then with the former’s suspensions and the latter’s foot injury.

Livermore has even been the subject of criticism from some Baggies fans for his indiscipline, picking up five yellow cards and missing their match against Bristol City last month before being sent off for a high foot against Huddersfield Town just two weeks later.

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With this, they will be without him and fellow central Albion midfielder Jayson Molumby who was given his marching orders for two bookable offences against Nottingham Forest in their last outing, leaving Mowatt and Robert Snodgrass as their only available options in the middle of the park.

But even the letter’s availability at The Hawthorns beyond this month remains uncertain, with the 34-year-old reportedly not in manager Valerien Ismael’s plans any longer and having been given the green light to move on during the January transfer window.

With recent events showing the second-tier side’s lack of depth even without the former Scotland international’s departure, 20-year-old Quevin Castro could be in line to feature a lot more for Ismael’s men, having only made one senior appearance for the club this season in the Carabao Cup.

Despite his lack of experience, having only arrived at The Hawthorns on a two-year deal in the summer, the youngster has already talked himself up and believes the West Midlands side is a mere ‘stepping stone’ in this career in his ambition to become one of the best players in world football.

This is a big claim to make considering the fact he’s already 20 and needs a lot more senior experience under his belt in the EFL before he can fulfil his lofty ambitions.

His age is exactly why the second-tier side’s hierarchy need to be seriously considering sending him out on loan – because he may be a young player that still has plenty of time to improve – but he is under three months younger than Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson who has managed to establish himself as one of the East Midlands outfit’s first names on the team sheet.

This just shows how much catching up the Portuguese man has to do – and considering he has no senior EFL experience under his belt – he’s unlikely to be a man that can fire the Baggies back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

For the club in general, that has to be the aim and a non-negotiable considering they were only relegated from the top flight at the end of last term.

But what plan of action needs to follow to make this aim a reality? Firstly, loaning out someone who probably isn’t ready yet in Castro to go out and develop his game.

With his and Snodgrass’ potential departures, their focus then needs to turn to potential arrivals – and they have the funds ready to make a couple of strong additions in the midfield.

The money generated from the sale of former star man Matheus Pereira and their conservative spending policy in the summer should have provided them with the Financial Fair Play leeway and the appropriate capital to make the investment needed in January, with a striker and a centre-back also likely to be at the top of their agenda.

To be able to invest sufficient funds in other areas, one permanent signing and a cheap loanee to replace Castro and Snodgrass seems like a sensible move, leaving Livermore, Mowatt and a new arrival as the club’s midfield options at the end of the campaign when Molumby and the other loanee return to their parent clubs.

Having five senior options there might be awkward, especially if they can all stay fit and available throughout the remainder of the season, but this is the type of depth that’s needed at this point to catch up with the likes of Fulham and AFC Bournemouth who look set to run away with the top two spots at this stage.

20-year-old Castro will be gutted not to be part of this season’s plans if he is made available for a loan deal in January, but after playing just once and appearing on the bench on just two occasions in the Championship this term, he should grab any opportunity to play regular first-team football elsewhere with both hands.

He can only get better and fulfil his potential with more senior football under his belt, after all.


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 West Brom need to loan out 20-year-old despite Snodgrass exit links

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