West Brom have been dealt a cruel blow as a result of them picking up their first win of the Premier League season last week.
According to Slaven Bilic, as per the Express & Star, Baggies’ first-choice left-back Conor Townsend has been ruled out for at least four weeks through injury after he hobbled off with a knee problem in their 1-0 victory against Sheffield United.
“I knew straight away. When I saw Conor needed to be subbed, he is not that kind of guy.
“I hoped it was nothing major and thank god it isn’t but he is going to be out between four to six weeks.
“Knowing he is a good healer and a great character, he will be desperate to come back.
“It is a blow, of course, especially considering how well he was doing. But we were concerned it would be a lot worse.”
The 27-year-old has been in impressive form for the top-flight strugglers, ranking as their third-best player (6.84) behind both Conor Gallagher (6.98) and Matheus Pereira (6.89), which in itself, is phenomenal. That’s better than Grady Diangana, Jake Livermore and Karlan Grant.
Townsend has averaged 1.9 clearances, 1.5 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 0.9 dribbles per game form his eight starts, via WhoScored.
This blow is compounded further by the fact that veteran defender Kieran Gibbs, who hasn’t been seen since his sending off against Everton in the second game of the season, has only just returned to training and may not be fit enough to feature having tested positive for coronavirus last month.
“Kieran didn’t train for 20 days because of the injury and corona. We will see tomorrow. He has been training for five days now and we will see.”
A view that has been emphasised by other characters in his career – former Chesterfield teammate Marc Richards claimed: “He’s a nice lad but he’s got a nasty side when he crosses that white line. He doesn’t shirk a tackle” while Graham Alexander believes he’s “really popular in the changing room.”
Without him, there could be trouble brewing.