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West Brom: Steve Bruce drops Taylor Gardner-Hickman claim

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce has dropped a claim on the future of Taylor Gardner-Hickman.

What’s been said?

In recent comments cited by the Express & Star, the 61-year-old manager revealed that, despite pressure from the Baggies fanbase, he sees the 20-year-old’s future at right-back, before going on to suggest that he is hesitant to play the versatile full-back while his side are struggling in the league.

Speaking about the youngster, Bruce said: “I believe his best position is right-back. I believe he’s played in midfield but I think if you ask anybody in the youth team or academy area they will say full-back is his best position.

“It’s difficult enough to put a young one in when you’re struggling, let alone play him out of position.

“In hindsight, Gardner-Hickman is knocking on the door. If we keep getting the response we’re getting, then there might be a time when the young ones come in. Certainly, I’ll look into it.”

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Bruce must unleash Gardner-Hickman

Considering the fact that, over the five fixtures in which Bruce has been in charge of West Brom, all three of Alex Mowatt, Jayson Molumby and Adam Reach have struggled, in addition to Gardner-Hickman having turned in a Man of the Match display from central midfield in a 2-1 win over Coventry City back in December, the Albion manager’s apparent adamance that he will not play the 20-year-old in the middle of the park is a rather strange stance.

Indeed, in the aforementioned victory over Coventry, the £410-per-week starlet enjoyed 65 touches of the ball, completed four of his six attempted dribbles and 24 of his 36 passes, made three clearances, four interceptions, two tackles, blocked two shots and won seven of his 13 duels.

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Which La Liga club did West Brom sign Okay Yokuslu on loan from in the 2021 January transfer window?

These returns saw the player who Chris Lepkowski dubbed an “impressive” talent with a “bright future” earn a SofaScore match rating of 7.3, with no player from either side receiving a higher score than the youngster.

As such, considering the fact that Albion are severely lacking in both attacking threat and creativity at present, exactly why Bruce is not utilising Gardner-Hickman in the middle of the park is rather baffling – and something we believe the manager must put right against Hull City on Saturday.

In other news: Steve Madeley drops worrying update on 20-goal “diamond”, WBA fans will be fuming

Article title: West Brom: Steve Bruce drops Taylor Gardner-Hickman claim

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