Joseph Masi: Valerien Ismael has faith in Gardner-Hickman and Ingram
Valerien Ismael has huge faith in West Brom duo Taylor Gardner-Hickman and Ethan Ingram, according to Express and Star journalist Joseph Masi.
The Baggies are not likely to make any more signings this summer, but there have been concerns about their lack of depth at right-back.
However, West Brom are pleased with their current options in the position, with Gardner-Hickman, 19, and Ingram, 18, now expected to provide Darnell Furlong with quality covers.
Masi provided the update on his personal Twitter account Tuesday evening.
He said: “So if there are no more ins or outs, this is Albion’s squad until January.
“Phillips, Diangana, Robinson, Grant obviously all interchangeable.
“Right wing-back is my area of concern but I’m told Ismael has huge faith in Gardner-Hickman and Ingram.”
So if there are no more ins or outs, this is Albion's squad until January. Phillips, Diangana, Robinson, Grant obviously all interchangeable. Right wing-back is my area of concern but I'm told Ismael has huge faith in Gardner-Hickman and Ingram… #wba pic.twitter.com/gsoprl9iUO
— Joseph Masi (@JosephMasi_Star) August 31, 2021
Show of faith
Furlong has been a key player for the Baggies since the new Championship season started, and his defensive abilities have been vital.
It is his ability at set-pieces that has been more crucial to the team’s style of play, though, with his long throws proving to be too much to handle for the opponents.
When they do not score from his missiles, West Brom often go very close to finding the back of the net, and Ismael needs him to be fit all season to boost their promotion chances.
A new player in the position would have come in handy, but the Frenchman has shown faith in two teenagers, and that is huge.
Both Gardner-Hickman and Ingram do not have enough first-team experience between themselves, but they will likely be seeing action this term in the Championship if Furlong becomes unavailable due to suspension or injury.
They must have impressed the former Barnsley boss enough in training for him to decide to stick with them for the season.
It is a gamble, but West Brom appear to have made up their minds already, and it is now up to the duo to reward the faith shown in them.
In other West Brom news, the Baggies are pushing senior player towards exit as Ismael is not a fan.