This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
West Bromwich Albion’s performances under Slaven Bilic this season have quite rightly earned its plaudits.
They sit top of the Championship table after 16 matches as we head into a hectic festive period, but they should be buoyed by the fact that they are on course to achieve automatic promotion, based on their current points per game rate at least.
The Baggies could surpass 92 points, other factors excluding, which has been enough for a top-flight berth in four of the last five campaigns.
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However, with such impressive exploits comes interest in the protagonists involved in making such headlines – Grady Diangana could well be recalled to cause scenes similar to being Harvey Barnes 2.0, Matheus Pereira has been linked to none other than Manchester United while Nathan Ferguson has been a reported target of many an elite club with Tottenham Hotspur’s interest just not going away.
The Daily Mail claim Albion fear having to cash in on the 19-year-old this January as Spurs and Crystal Palace are expected to make bids for the versatile defender.
Ferguson’s contract expires at the end of the season so West Brom are faced with the possibility of losing him for a nominal fee in the summer or selling him for more money in the winter window.
There are no doubts that the Baggies academy graduate has been a big part of their season to date, averaging 2.4 tackles and 1.8 clearances per game, via WhoScored, but unlike Pereira, he isn’t indispensable.
Recent weeks have proven that Bilic has more than viable options to call upon that are just as good – Conor Townsend has stepped up in his absence at left-back while summer signing Darnell Furlong has started to make that right-back spot his own having played 12 straight in the league.
Luke Dowling and co will rue losing him effectively for free in the summer, so they might as well get what they can for him now – provided he isn’t going to sign a new contract.
Losing the England U20 international isn’t going to be the most catastrophic thing the team faces as they look to continue their attempt at returning to the Premier League.
It remains to be seen how much West Brom would rake in for Ferguson with Transfermarkt currently valuing him at £1.8m.