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West Bromwich Albion can secure Ajayi upgrade with Darragh Lenihan

West Bromwich Albion had one of the strongest defences in the Championship this season as only AFC Bournemouth (21) and Sheffield United (20) ended the campaign with more clean sheets than the Baggies (19).

One figure that played a significant part for the Midlands club at the back this season was Semi Ajayi.

With 31 league appearances to his name, the Nigerian racked up an average of three clearances per game, leaving only Kyle Bartley (4) and Matt Clarke (3.1) with a higher rate.

Last month, the centre-back put pen to paper on a new contract which will see him stay at the Hawthorns until 2025.

This shows just how valued he is at the club and how highly they rate him and his talents on the pitch.

Now that the season has ended and the summer transfer window is upon us, this will give the Baggies and Steve Bruce the chance to strengthen the squad and give them a better chance at securing promotion back to the Premier League.

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

While their current defensive players certainly proved their worth, one player that the club have been linked with recently that could be a potential upgrade on Ajayi is Darragh Lenihan.

With a total of 219 appearances in the Championship under his belt, the 28-year-old certainly has enough experience to come in and be a ready-made first-team option for Bruce.

In terms of his defensive capabilities, the Irishman made 58 interceptions and won 43 tackles in 41 league games this season, the second and third-highest in Blackburn’s squad respectively.

Do West Brom need to sign a new centre-back this summer?

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Yes

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Having totalled an average of 4.1 clearances per game as well, this further highlights how significant the £14k-per-week centre-half can be at the back and why he could be an upgrade on Ajayi.

His overall performances earned him an impressive season rating of 7.1/10 from WhoScored, making him the highest-rated player at Rovers.

This would also make him the highest-rated player for West Brom by the same metric.

Labelled as a “special footballer” by Tony Mowbray, Lenihan could be just what the Baggies need if Bruce feels the need to make what is already a solid defence into a formidable one.

In other news: Bruce can finally replace Pereira as WBA eye move for “inspirational” £27k-p/w dynamo

Article title: West Bromwich Albion can secure Ajayi upgrade with Darragh Lenihan

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