After progressing through Brentford’s academy, Zain Westbrooke was served a quick reality check.
He was quickly loaned out by the West Londoners to Solihull Moors and Leyton Orient respectively, before departing Griffin Park on a free transfer to Coventry.
Appearing just once during his time with Brentford, Westbrooke could’ve been forgiven for thinking that his chance to make it at Championship level had gone amiss.
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However after making the move to Coventry back in 2018, the deep-lying playmaker has quickly found his feet in League One with the Sky Blues and has helped to aid the club’s promotion charge this season.
Something of an all-round midfield player that ticks many boxes for the way Mark Robins wants his side to play, Westbrooke has been largely an unsung hero in a Coventry side that has set the third division alight for much of the campaign so far.
Having established himself as a regular under Robins at St Andrew’s, Westbrooke’s statistics when playing in the middle of the park speak for themselves, with the 23-year-old having recorded an impressive pass success rate of 78.7% this season, underlining his ability to control the tempo of games.
Whilst he also helps to aid the Sky Blues in attack where possible through the use of key passes, with the Chertsey born player averaging 1.7 per game, thus showcasing his ability to transform defence into attack when operating in a more box to box role under Robins on occasion this term.
Largely screening in front of the team’s backline, Westbrooke certainly mucks in defensively for his side, thus making him a valuable member of Coventry’s young squad.
Westbrooke is one of a number of players over the years at Football League level who have taken the big decision to take one step down the divisions in order to take two steps forward and still has a lot of room for development ahead of him, with the midfielder having only played 49 senior games in his career to date.
League One is arguably a more physical level of football than the Championship, with players having less time on the ball traditionally, which should help to improve the 23-year-old’s decision making in the long run ahead of a probable promotion to the Championship with the Sky Blues.
After cutting his teeth and subsequently helping his stock to rise at League One level, Westbrooke will surely be relishing a chance in the Championship, with Coventry currently holding a five point lead over Rotherham United at the top of the league standings with just nine games to go.