West Bromwich Albion are interested in a deal to bring Liam Kitching to The Hawthorns in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Sunday Mirror (via Football League World), who claimed that Valerien Ismael is keeping a very close eye on his former Barnsley centre-back ahead of a potential move in the current transfer market.
However, the report added that West Brom are facing competition from Birmingham in their pursuit for the 22-year-old, with Lee Bowyer also thought to be keen on a swoop for the defender this month.
While it is true that Barnsley have not enjoyed the best of seasons following Ismael’s move to West Brom last summer – with last season’s play-off semi-finalists currently sitting bottom of the Championship – Kitching has nevertheless proven that he is a player who possesses a great deal of potential for the future.
Indeed, over his 16 league outings in the current campaign, the £270k-rated defender has been one of Barnsley’s few bright sparks, helping his side to keep three clean sheets and registering one assist, as well as making 1.3 interceptions, 1.9 tackles and 3.8 clearances per game and winning 59% of his duels.
These returns have seen the £3k-per-week defender average a SofaScore match rating of 6.71, ranking him as Barnsley’s joint 10th-best performer in the division, and that score would likely be much higher if it weren’t for his team’s awful form.
While he is still just 22 years of age, Kitching certainly seems like a player who has the potential to go on and become a top-level centre-back, something which would only be aided by the youngster playing alongside West Brom’s own 22-year-old defensive colossus in Dara O’Shea. The Irishman’s 7.26 Sofascore rating put him top of the Baggies’ squad.
Indeed, should Ismael go on to land a deal for the Tykes starlet this month, O’Shea and Kitching could well form two-thirds of the Frenchman’s three-man defence for many years to come. That will undoubtedly be an exciting prospect for the Albion faithful, and the centre-back would be a signing that Ismael would clearly love to get over the line, adding to his one January acquisition so far in Daryl Dike.