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West Brom must gift Alex Williams a chance

West Bromwich Albion are a side languishing in the Championship despite aspirations of a promotion push this season.

Sitting 20th in the division, with just one win from ten, Steve Bruce will be left scratching his head over the international break, desperate to find a solution to solve his woes.

Should Alex Williams be given a chance?





With the club seemingly hamstrung financially, and the window now slammed shut, it seems that the only natural place to go for an injection of fresh energy would be the academy.

His attack may be faltering, but the solution he could find might be in defence. Alex Williams is a 17-year-old right-back who could come in and use his youthful exuberance to push his side further up the pitch to create chances for their toothless attack.

The Baggies have scored just 15 goals this season in ten league games, with five of them coming in one game.

Despite his youth, Williams seems to be taking to his step up from U18s football to the Premier League 2 with ease.

Last season he made five appearances, and this season he has featured in two of their opening five fixtures too.

He does only have two assists in his young career in the U18s league.

Richard Beale, the man who oversees the progression from the academy into the first team, did name-drop the defender in a crop of what he described as “encouraging” academy players, however.

Perhaps with his capability to cope with the strains older age groups might offer, a run in the first team could be just around the corner.

It would not be difficult for the youngster to match the levels that Darnell Furlong is currently reaching, as the full-back has scored just once and assisted none in his first eight appearances this season.

He is also dribbled past 0.8 times per game, whilst only winning back possession a horrendous 0.1 times a game.

Even if it is not for energy to push West Brom further up the field, surely the young Williams can improve upon this with his impressive one-on-one defending. 

The Welshman is not a full-back who will set the world alight with his bombing runs forward and numerous assists but offers more of a solid skillset akin to Cesar Azpilicueta. The Spaniard only has 57 assists in an astound 483 appearances for Chelsea.

Perhaps this kind of security is exactly what Bruce needs to stabilise his side and ensure a steady rise up the table. The exuberance of youth has proven to be the key for many other managers; perhaps Bruce should trust in that too.