While West Bromwich Albion found out their reward for advancing into the FA Cup fourth round, their U23 squad were in action in the Premier League 2.
The Baggies will head to manager Slaven Bilic’s old hunting ground, West Ham, in a few weeks to do battle over what will be built up as the ‘Grady Diangana derby.’
Whether the enigmatic winger will feature remains to be seen as firstly, he’s currently out through injury, and secondly, there is yet to be confirmation over whether he will see the season out at the Hawthorns or not.
Meanwhile, Albion’s young stars breezed through their fixture, beating Reading 4-2 at Aggborough stadium with Rayhaan Tulloch and Chris Willock both bagging braces.
Here’s what some of the Hawthorns faithful had to say on the latter’s performance…
Willock is class
— Lewis_WBA 16 (@lewistrexedge) January 6, 2020
First goal class, great composure and footwork, Edwards would’ve bottled it PLAY WILLOCK
— Gareth (@LethalLivermore) January 6, 2020
The King pic.twitter.com/F2MuKM93AZ
— Liam (@IiamwbaV4) January 6, 2020
Willock fast feet. there must be something going on for him not to be given a chance.
— DOOD (@DoodWBA) January 6, 2020
‘Class’ and ‘king’ were just two superlatives used to describe the 21-year-old’s two-goal showing while another supporter highlighted the ability Willock possesses at his feet, pondering why he hasn’t been given a chance in the first team yet.
The Benfica loanee joined the club on deadline day in the summer and hasn’t even been named in a matchday squad for the senior team once this campaign.
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This has led to many fans pleading to see him given a chance in the coming weeks – given the unknown future of Diangana, there could well be a place out wide available soon.
Plenty more added…
Willock looks like quality! Can’t wait to see him in the first team
— JonW1995 (@JonW1995) January 6, 2020
Need to get him some game time or send him back it’s not fair on the bloke, #freewillock
— Wbakie (@wbakie) January 6, 2020
Give him a chance Slav!
— Baggieman (@Baggieman3) January 7, 2020
Surely Willock should be getting some sort of opportunity in the first team, hard to grasp whether he’d be any good there without having a chance
— ✰ (@xKG26) January 6, 2020
Would love to see Willock on Saturday deserves a spot in the team even if it's on the bench. https://t.co/f6Wqyatmow
— 🄽🄾🄲🄺🅈 (@NockyWBA) January 6, 2020
Give Chris Willock a run in the first team squad, scores goal after goal for the PL2 side and we have no wingers on the bench. Only a month older than Kyle Edwards and I see no reason why he can’t usurp his and even Phillips’ position after some pretty ordinary performances. #wba
— joe (@joekapalo) January 6, 2020
— John (@Johnwba01) January 6, 2020
One member of the Baggies fanbase asked to give him an opportunity, or he might as well be sent back as it’s not fair on him while another begged Bilic to hand him a chance.
Willock has now scored six goals and provided at least five assists in the Premier League 2 this season, per Transfermarkt, so there’s not much more he can do other than continue to impress.
This situation has even led to comparisons to Serge Gnabry, who Tony Pulis failed to play much whilst he was in charge back in the 2015/16 season. He’s now tearing it up for Bayern Munich where he picked up their player of the season award last year on their way to winning the Bundesliga.
— Mark Bedford (@bedders221) January 6, 2020
The uncertainty over Willock is sure to continue as plenty of Albion’s Championship rivals appear to be keen on taking him on loan should his parent club recall him this month, according to the Daily Mail.
Bilic best hope that doesn’t come back to bite him later down the line.
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