This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to Express and Star, West Brom are planning to tie young right-back Nathan Ferguson to a long-term deal after cementing his name as first choice this season.
In front of the TV cameras on the opening day of the season, Ferguson earned the Man of the Match accolade on what was his senior debut as West Brom defeated Nottingham Forest to kick start their quest for promotion.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) August 3, 2019
Bilic even signed a right-back this summer with Darnell Furlong making the switch to the Hawthorns in a £1.5m move from QPR, but he hasn’t even been able to get a look-in because of the performances from the youngster.
Ferguson’s current deal expires at the end of the season so the club ideally need to tie him down sooner rather than later.
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The move would suggest that West Brom are investing in their future – maybe one under Bilic himself if he proves to be a success at the Hawthorns.
There is a lesson to be learned amongst the current Baggies squad – Romaine Sawyers.
The 27-year-old was a product of the club’s youth academy, earning his first professional contract in 2009 but game time was limited and the midfielder was forced to go elsewhere.
He joined Walsall in 2013 on a permanent deal following his release from West Brom before going on to make his name in the Championship for Brentford, playing 41 games last season – the majority of which as captain.
Beyond Sawyers, the likes of Tyler Roberts and Kemar Roofe have both been allowed to leave after coming through the academy before thriving away from the club.
Clearly the Baggies hierarchy don’t want to let another huge talent slip through the net.
Ferguson has developed at a much quicker rate than Sawyers did and that can only stand him in good stead, especially as he currently looks like he’s going to be a first-team regular this season.
By investing in their future, West Brom could have a generational star in their possession as they head back towards England’s top-flight.
Alternatively, if that doesn’t go to plan, they’ll be able to make some money from any potential future sales.
A win-win perhaps.