The 23-year-old, who has progressed through the ranks at Albion as a central defender, has been tasked with operating as a full-back on several occasions since returning from injury at the start of February.
O’Shea missed five months of this campaign because of an ankle injury, and whilst most would have thought that he would have slotted back in as a central defender consistently, he has shown competence in right-back when called upon.
Speaking to the Express & Star about O’Shea operating in a full-back position, Bruce said: “I believe he can play there comfortably.
“I think he struggled (against Middlesbrough and Swansea) because they were the first games he had played in six months.
“I take the responsibility of playing him there when I probably needed to play him at centre-back to ease him back in.
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“But I’ve got no problem with him playing right-back.
“But therein lies the problem with the squad. We’ve got one recognised right-back in (Darnell) Furlong and one recognised left-back in (Conor) Townsend. That’s the imbalance of the squad and what we’ve got to put right.”
As Bruce quite rightly points out, Albion are not blessed with lots of options in the full-back areas, and whilst Connor Townsend and Darnell Furlong have been excellent at times in their West Brom careers, they cannot operate as the club’s only options for their respective positions.
O’Shea has stepped into a different position and struggled slightly straightaway, but he has shown great adaptability to familiarise himself with the role and subsequently impress.
Going forward, O’Shea is still a central defender who can enjoy a long and successful career in that position, however, learning a different position and thriving there when called upon can only be a good thing.
It remains to be seen what role O’Shea could play next season, with there being potential that the 23-year-old is being equipped with the necessary tools this season to act as cover at full-back, with the long-term view centred around him remaining as central defender.