Valerien Ismael will be absolutely thrilled with another three points for West Brom today as they saw off Reading at The Hawthorns with a 1-0 win.
Callum Robinson found the back of the net for the fourth time this season for the Baggies, after Karlan Grant set up the 26-year-old in the 62nd minute of the game as West Brom landed their second consecutive win. That saw them close the gap between themselves and Bournemouth to just three points behind the automatic promotion spot in second.
One man who was an unsung hero on the day was 19-year-old prodigy Taylor Gardner-Hickman, whose work as left wing-back should not go unnoticed for Albion.
Valerien Ismael is a huge fan of the youngster and recently praised the teenager after spotting him in the youth team, saying: “We first spotted him in pre-season. Taylor was the first one because of the intensity he plays at.
“He’s fast, he’s able to cover big distances, he has high speed, he can sprint, he has quality on the ball, he is calm and he has no fear.”
As per SofaScore, Gardner-Hickman deservedly had the highest rating on the entire pitch with 8.3, and when you look at his statistics for the game, it’s not hard to see why that was the case. The 19-year-old won 12 duels, with 80 touches and a 92% pass accuracy, which is very impressive and proves just how influential he was to the win today.
With only four appearances for West Brom in the Championship so far, and continuing to double up on his under-23 duties in Premier League 2, where he has one goal and two assists, Gardner-Hickman is surely showing Ismael that he is worthy of a regular spot starting in the senior team going forward. Indeed, the youngster is already becoming one of the 46-year-old’s main men at The Hawthorns, as we saw today.
In other news: Journalist drops West Brom January transfer claim