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West Brom target Saul Shotton fits the bill for Slaven Bilic’s system

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Bury’s academy manager Mark Litherland has given a glowing review of Saul Shotton amidst reports the youngster will sign for West Brom.

What’s he said?

A report from the BBC this week has claimed that the Baggies are set to sign Shotton following the automatic termination of his contract at Bury, who were expelled from the Football League earlier this month.

The 18-year-old is now a free agent and has previously had bids rejected for him from Leeds United and Watford, so it could be quite the coup for Albion if they landed him.

Find out how a world-record-holding freestyler got on with the worst football in the world in the video below…

Shotton has only made six senior appearances in his career for the Shakers, but his former academy manager has talked him up, by saying:

“He is really comfortable on the ball and bringing the ball out of defence.

“He is also good in the air and reads the game well.

“What he has now been given by Albion is a huge opportunity and it’s up to him what he does with it.

“He played four games in League One when he was 17-years-old and still a first-year scholar and did very well – because of that there’s always been interest in him.”

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Fits the bill

Baggies boss Slaven Bilic likes to play a passing style of football and that all begins by playing out from the back. This is emphasised by glancing at his previous jobs – for example at Besiktas, his team enjoyed 55% of possession and completed 81% of their passes during his final term in Turkey.

At present, West Brom are second in the league for pass success with 83.1% and their centre-backs are integral to that.

Both Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley, who have played every minute of this Championship campaign, rank inside the top four of the team for average passes per game with a passing accuracy of 83.1% or better too.

The review given by Litherland about Shotton highlights just why the Croatian would be after such a player, especially outside the transfer window.

Bilic was also quoted as saying “If there was a one-off situation, if it’s a young player and we can use him, then okay – we’d consider it,” so maybe there is even a first-team opportunity here for the promising starlet this campaign.

Those comments certainly bode well if he does eventually walk through the doors of the Hawthorns.

Article title: West Brom target Saul Shotton fits the bill for Slaven Bilic’s system

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