Villa outcast Elphick would be perfect Dawson replacement for Midlands rivals WBA

West Bromwich Albion central defender Craig Dawson has handed in a formal transfer request, according to Sky Sports.

What’s the story, then?

Sky Sports claim that Dawson, one of the Baggies’ top performers during last season which saw them relegated to the Championship, sees his immediate future away from the Hawthorns.

They also say that Dawson has refused to go on the club’s pre-season tour and that he is frustrated the board have rejected bids from Premier League outfits West Ham and Burnley for his services.

They report that Darren Moore sees the defender as central to his plans as he looks to plot an instant return to the big-time and that is the reason for the strict stance on his future.

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Elphick would be the ideal replacement

As much as Moore is desperate to keep Dawson in his plans, the likelihood is that the Englishman will eventually depart to a top flight club.

The new Baggies boss must be pragmatic and plan for that eventuality and the solution may lie just across town at West Midlands rivals Aston Villa.

Tommy Elphick, valued at £2.25m by Transfermarkt, has been outcast by Steve Bruce at Villa, who loaned him to Reading for the second part of last season.

Yet, he remains a very capable Championship defender and Villa’s financial situation means that they will surely be willing to sell, so long as they put local rivalry aside.