West Brom have had a difficult season so far with numerous problems from injuries to a change in hands on management, with Steve Bruce brought in the last month to try to salvage something in the games that the side have left.
The Baggies have won 13 matches, but have also racked up 12 defeats during their Championship campaign which has ultimately put the side in a vulnerable position when it comes to their chances of promotion back into the Premier League, now seven points off a top six spot with 10 games to go.
With that in mind, Bruce will need to quickly establish his winning formula when it comes to selecting his team in these crucial attempts to climb the table in the limited chances they have left, and Taylor Gardner-Hickman has proven repeatedly this season he has what it takes to make the difference for West Brom.
Karlan Grant may have been the key difference maker of late, scoring three goals in two outings, but his defensive colleague has more than played his part too.
The 20-year-old who was hailed “fearless” by his former manager Valerien Ismael, has made 11 appearances in the league this term, picking up points in seven of those, proving his impact from his position is clearly valuable and effective, surely making him un-droppable.
Bruce managed to pick up his first win of his tenure against Hull City away after failing to pick up a win in his first five games in charge, and it is no surprise to see that the win came when youngster, Gardner-Hickman, gained his first starting appearance since the new manager arrived.
Following the performance West Brom reporter, Joseph Masi, sang the praises of the young talent:
“Fans have been calling for Taylor Gardner-Hickman to play in midfield for weeks and weeks and weeks.
“Wow, he was amazing today, he was really good.
“All Taylor Gardner-Hickman, that penalty; he did absolutely fantastically well to win it. His passing was good today, his energy, he gave so much energy.”
It’s clear that the player can offer a lot to West Brom, with his diversity in positioning offering the ability to play in a number of roles from midfield to defence, which he has demonstrated over his opportunities to play this season.
There is a clear proven influence that he can have on inspiring positive performances when he is present on the pitch just by looking at how many games the side have won when he has been given game time, something that the Baggies manager cannot ignore.
In other news: Steve Bruce hints at Andy Carroll’s future