West Brom manager Slaven Bilic believes right-back Darnell Furlong has “improved a lot” since arriving at The Hawthorns.
Furlong joined the Baggies last summer and has started seven of the club’s eight Premier League matches so far this season.
Speaking to The Athletic, Bilic admitted that he had worked very closely with the 25-year-old and was pleased with his development.
“He is playing regularly for us and I spoke with him and the staff and I did a lot with him individually last season and this season,” he told The Athletic.
“He improved a lot and he’s got good stamina, good determination and a nice touch. He improved a lot defensively and that’s why he’s playing and I’m quite pleased with him.
“He has to deal with strikers and wingers that are world-class quality, better than last season in the Championship, of course. And he is dealing with them really well and offensively he’s a threat. He still has a lot of things to improve but he has improved a lot and that is the main reason why he’s played.”
Furlong has been outstanding so far this season and is now one of the Baggies most creative players.
He leads the side with 0.15 expected assists per 90 minutes, while he ranks in the top six in terms of key passes, final third entry passes and passes into the penalty area. The former Queens Park Rangers man has also averaged 1.63 shot-creating actions and 3.53 progressive passes per 90 (via FBRef).
Whether part of a back three or back four, Furlong has been able to operate effectively in attack and defence, averaging 2.79 blocks and 2.65 clearances per 90 (via FBRef).
The main job for Bilic is to try and build a more consistent defensive unit around Furlong, with the centre-back position very much in flux so far this season.
In other West Brom news, this Man United star is fit to face Albion this weekend