West Bromwich Albion were unable to find their way back into the Premier League this season after finishing tenth in the Championship.
With 46 games in the second division, the Baggies won 18, drew 13 and lost 15 along the way, highlighting how mixed and unpredictable they were in terms of their results and performances.
Another underwhelming factor was the fact that they only scored 52 goals throughout the campaign, which is fewer than the likes of Reading, Bristol City and Blackpool among others.
One reason for this could be down to the fact that the Midlands club waved goodbye to Matheus Pereira during the previous summer transfer window.
After scoring 20 goals and delivering 26 assists in 77 appearances, the Brazilian joined Saudi club Al Hilal.
Now that this uninspiring season has drawn to an end, West Brom’s focus can turn to the upcoming campaign and their next attempt at getting back into the top flight.
One player the Baggies boss could turn to and unearth their next version of Pereira is Rico Richards.
In those appearances, the 18-year-old has scored 13 goals and delivered five assists, showing the talent he has at scoring and creating goals in a similar vein to Pereira.
The teenager has made just one senior appearance for the club which came during their disappointing 6-0 win over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup back in August where he came on as a late substitute.
Back in February, Richards’ performance against Arsenal in the Premier League Cup was described as “splendid” by Baggies journalist Joe Chapman on Twitter.
Having played in numerous positions across the midfield and attack throughout his short career so far, this sort of versatility could not only make him a suitable squad option for Bruce next season and beyond but it could also make him the new Pereira as he also played in different attacking positions during his time at the club.
If the young prodigy can impress Bruce during the upcoming preseason period, he definitely has the talent to start to be integrated into the first team and potentially make a name for himself in the Championship.