By Max Parsons

4th Nov, 2021 | 8:56am

Taylor Gardner-Hickman provides bright nod to the future on Championship debut

Taylor Gardner-Hickman made his Championship debut for West Brom last night and showed great signs of promise with a strong wing-back performance.

The 19-year-old has made Valerien Ismael’s substitutes’ bench on four occasions for league fixtures this campaign and got a senior debut earlier in the season when Arsenal thumped the Baggies 6-0 in the EFL Cup.

Wednesday night, however, brought with it a first start in the Championship, as Hull City visited the Hawthorns. Among a few standout performers for Ismael’s side, Gardner-Hickman shone as a dynamic right wing-back in West Brom’s eventual 1-0 victory.

A versatile youngster, Garder-Hickman has primarily been deployed as a left-sided player for the Baggies’ reserve side, featuring everywhere up the left flank.

In five Premier League 2 appearances, the 19-year-old has managed a goal and two assists while predominantly featuring at left-back (Transfermarkt). A tally of four bookings in that time also demonstrates his enthusiasm for competitiveness – a trait that won’t be wasted on the fans.

Against Hull, he showed his willingness to get stuck in with a resilient defensive shift for his side. Tasked with containing tricky wide threats like Keane Lewis-Potter and Callum Elder, the teenager fared well and stood his ground. Unphased and unintimidated, the right wing-back registered three ball recoveries and made one clearance to help maintain his side’s clean sheet (WhoScored).

His most exciting and influential work came on the front foot, however. Visibly the epitome of a modern-day full-back, Gardner-Hickman was insatiable when bombing upfield and creating for his side.

On Wednesday night, the 19-year-old delivered the joint-most crosses on the field. Whipping in some fierce balls into the area, he was desperately unlucky not to have come away with a first league assist on his first league start – although he did register one key pass.

Gardner-Hickman’s influence and importance in West Brom’s 1-0 win over Hull in midweek may not have produced something tangible, but it was certainly there for all to see. With a promising and powerful Championship debut under his belt, he looks a thrilling prospect.

In other West Brom news, Neil Lennon has reacted to a controversial moment in the win over Hull.