By Olly Allen

3rd Dec, 2021 | 8:10pm

Chris Lepkowski slams West Brom youngster Quevin Castro and compares him to Ali Dia

West Brom youngster Quevin Castro has been blasted by Chris Lepkowski amid suggestions he could make his league debut this weekend.

With Jake Livermore and Jayson Molumby suspended, Valerien Ismael is short of senior options in central midfield for the game against Coventry City at the Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday (4 December).

The likelihood is that Ismael will play a first team player out of position to plug the gap, but if he was to turn to the academy then Castro would be one of his options.

However, in response to a fan on Twitter suggesting the 20-year-old could be given a chance, former Birmingham Mail journalist Lepkowski made his views clear.

“His performance v Arsenal was one of the most ‘nowhere near first team-ready’ displays I’ve ever seen by one of our players,” Lepkowski wrote.

“Like a 2021 version of Ali Dia.”

Harsh

Since signing in the summer, all we have seen of Castro in a first team capacity is his debut against Arsenal in the League Cup, while he was also named on the bench for two Championship games in August.

Lepkowski’s review of the 20-year-old’s performance in the 6-0 defeat to the Gunners is damning and the comparison to Dia – the man who fluked his way into appearing in the Premier League in 1996 – is certainly harsh.

Castro showed glimpses of potential on his debut and is clearly a confident player, but he also showed why he remains very raw; he was booked inside the first two minutes and his failed clearance led to Arsenal opening the scoring.

Putting him straight into the first team after he has only just returned from injury would not be a wise move, particularly as the Coventry fixture is such a crucial game.

With Matt Phillips ruled out with a hamstring injury, Adam Reach and Semi Ajayi are the main contenders to be part of a makeshift midfield alongside Alex Mowatt.

In other West Brom news, David Prutton has predicted the outcome of Saturday’s game against Coventry City.

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