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West Brom: Ismael must start Taylor Gardner-Hickman against Cardiff

Taylor Gardner-Hickman has been having quite a week after celebrating his 20th birthday as well as signing a new contract with West Brom on the same day.

The Albion academy graduate secured a four-and-a-half year deal with the club after making a great impression on Valerien Ismael and the West Brom fans.

Speaking after signing his contract, Gardner-Hickman said: “I’m absolutely delighted. This is my boyhood club. I’ve been here since I was seven and to finally achieve a long-term contract is a dream come true.

“I’ve been working really hard and I was hoping that one day my chance would come. Thankfully it came and I’ve been fortunate enough to be around the squad for a while now.”

The youngster has displayed some impressive performances for the Baggies’ first team this season, especially in the game against Reading a few weeks ago, where SofaScore gave him the highest player rating (8.3) of anyone in Ismael’s side.

According to the website, in that match alone, Gardner-Hickman recorded an 89% pass accuracy, with more touches on the ball than any other midfielder, and won 11 out of his 17 duels.

Ismael has been one of the first to sing the youngster’s praises, calling him “fearless” after his outstanding contribution whilst stepping up to the first team as he said: “He represents exactly what we want to see from young players. He’s hungry, he has desire, he’s fearless. He also has a lot of quality.

“After Dara O’Shea, I think he is the second one with the same profile and I’m delighted to be able to work with him in the years to come.”

Albion will take on their first fixture of 2022 tomorrow against Cardiff City at The Hawthorns, and we’re sure the homegrown talent will be eager to come in for his first start since that impressive outing against Reading three weeks ago.

Should Ismael start TGH against Cardiff?

Yes

Yes

No

No

It could be the perfect opportunity for Gardner-Hickman to get stuck into the second half of the season, and if he gets his chance this weekend, he could be a game-changer from full-back with his all-action play. Indeed, Albion have failed to win or even score since his last start for the club.

The club believe he has what it takes to succeed by offering him a new contract in recent days; now it’s over to Ismael to place his trust in the 20-year-old and back up the aforementioned glowing praise.

In other news: Carlton Palmer weighs in on one potential January signing for Albion

Article title: West Brom: Ismael must start Taylor Gardner-Hickman against Cardiff

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