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West Brom: Steve Bruce had a howler when loaning out Caleb Taylor

West Bromwich Albion made plenty of big blunders that led to their current position, with Steve Bruce heading up most of them.

Having led his side to the relegation zone before his sacking, they have currently shipped 22 goals in just 16 Championship matches.

One of his less notorious but most costly mistakes from this campaign was loaning out youngster Caleb Taylor, as his performances for Cheltenham Town are proving.

It may go unnoticed, but with their current defensive frailties and the continued absence of Semi Ajayi, they could use some added impetus in the form of a young, quick defender who could supplement the likes of Dara O’Shea and Martin Kelly.

There is no greater example of why they should have kept Taylor than the fact that Erik Pieters has started the last four games at centre-back, despite being a left-back by trade.

With Carlos Corberan likely keen on maintaining a 3-4-3 formation, it will further reinforce the mistake Bruce made to loan out the 19-year-old.

Should West Brom have kept Caleb Taylor?





Having already made 15 appearances for the League One side, he has played in all but one of their current league matches this campaign.

Despite Cheltenham sitting in 18th, just four points above the relegation zone, without the Baggies youngster their record of 20 goals conceded in 15 games would look far worse.

Jon Palmer, who frequently writes about the Robins, was full of praise for the defender. He said: “He’s been excellent. Overall the games they have played he has been Cheltenham’s most consistent player so far this season.”

His defensive stability is outlined through his clearances, of which he has made 106. No player has more in his division.

Palmer continued: “He just looks like he’s cruising through games. He’s so good in the air and he never looks rushed.

“He sees everything a split second before anybody else so you never see him panicking or out of position or sprinting to recover. He always seems in control.”

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First up in this West Brom transfer quiz, which club did the Baggies sign Alex Mowatt from?

These words mark startling praise for someone so young, who appears to be a complete mature defender already.

With performances such as the ones detailed, it’s a wonder why he is not competing for a spot in West Brom’s defence given how they have leaked goals this term.

It was clearly another Bruce blunder to oversee his departure as he should arguably be starting now, but one which Corberan can likely rectify with a chance in the coming seasons.