By George Hartley

30th Dec, 2021 | 1:26pm

Conor Townsend sends simple two-word message to West Brom youngster after contract news

West Brom defender Conor Townsend has sent a classy two-word comment to young teammate Taylor Gardner-Hickman after the full-back signed a new Baggies deal on his birthday.

The left-back responded to West Brom’s Instagram announcement with a simple message for Gardner-Hickman who turned 20 years old today.

Townsend sent the short but sweet comment to his promising teammate along with fellow teammate Robert Snodgrass.

West Brom told fans in the post that Gardner-Hickman has signed a new deal to keep him at the Hawthorns until 2026.

Townsend responded to the announcement, simply saying: “Deserved mate.”

Snodgrass replied to West Brom’s post with a humorous remark, saying: “Happy birthday young [Taylor]. Can we dye your bum fluff now?”

Investment in youth

Gardner-Hickman’s deal is indicative of a healthy progression towards developing young talent from West Brom.

This campaign has seen minutes dished out to the likes of Gardner-Hickman, who has featured six times. Dara O’Shea, prior to his injury, and Tom Fellows are amongst the other talent under the age of 23 who featured for Valérien Ismaël this season.

The news is surely good for West Brom fans who will be hopeful that their owners are building a sustainable side, investing in youth and aiming to achieve continual success over the next decade.

The Baggies currently sit 4th in the EFL Championship table and face relegation-threatened Cardiff City in their next league game on 2 January.

Having been unbeaten in ten games from the commencement of the season, the Midlands side have faced five defeats in the following 13 matches.

Ismaël’s side will certainly be intent on turning things round after a disheartening 1-0 defeat to Derby County on 27 December.

In other West Brom news, a young Baggies star almost joined a Premier League giant before agreeing a new deal.