Last week, it was revealed that West Brom defender Kean Bryan will now be ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in their recent 1-0 win over Hull City.
Despite this disappointing development, it seems as though the Baggies now have something positive to focus on moving forward.
It has recently been reported by Football Insider that Baggies centre-back Dara O’Shea, who has been out of action since September with a fractured ankle he sustained while away on international duty, is “making excellent progress in his recovery” and could well be set to return in January.
With this in mind, if O’Shea is fit enough to play in January, Ismael should have no doubts about putting him back into the team when the time comes.
Given how O’Shea had played every minute of action for West Brom in the Championship before picking up his injury on international duty and managing to grab two goals in the process, this shows just how important he is to the side and why Baggies manager Valerien Ismael will undoubtedly be over the moon to hear that O’Shea’s recovery is going well.
As well as showing that he can be a goalscoring threat for the team, O’Shea has also proven himself as a solid defensive unit as well with the 22-year-old racking up an average of 2.4 tackles, 3.6 clearances and 2.2 interceptions per game in the league.
Since making his senior debut for the Midlands club back in December 2019 under former Baggies manager Slaven Bilic, O’Shea, who has been described as a “confident” player by West Brom and Ireland teammate Callum Robinson, has made 57 appearances in total for the first team.
Despite only playing five league games this term, the £4.4k-per-week defender’s performances in those appearances have earned him an overall season rating of 7.73/10, making him West Brom’s highest-rated player according to WhoScored, further highlighting how impressive he was for the Baggies before picking up his unfortunate injury.
Moving forward, if he’s able to recover fully by January and keep fit for the rest of the season, then he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet on a consistent basis as his defensive talents and his knack for finding the back of the net at the other end of the pitch could be exactly what West Brom need to push them to promotion by the end of the campaign.