By Joe Ellis

3rd Jun, 2022 | 7:10am

West Brom make right-back next transfer priority, free-agent preferred

Steve Bruce is steaming ahead with his West Brom summer transfer plan and his next box to tick is a right-back from the free-agent market.

According to the Express and Star, the 61-year-old Baggies manager wants to find a natural right-sided defender to provide good competition for Darnell Furlong in that position.

Dara O’Shea has played as a full-back previously for Albion but Bruce wants his future to be as a central defender instead which will see the club try to bring such a player in on a free transfer.

The Express and Star bring up four names that could be on the West Brom shortlist but it can’t be confirmed that they are targets at this early stage.

Luton Town’s James Bree is perhaps the most likely after playing a major part in the Hatters’ run to the playoffs where they were beaten by Huddersfield.

Ryan Nyambe (Blackburn Rovers), Nathan Byrne (Derby County) and Moses Odubao (Queens Park Rangers) are the other three players mentioned.

Finally

Furlong has almost had things too easy since he arrived at The Hawthorns in that no other right-back has been there to properly challenge him for long periods.

This has seen complacency creep into his game, especially during the 2021-22 season, and that has made him a weak point in the West Brom side under both Valerien Ismael and Bruce.

If he didn’t have a very long throw-in, you could argue that he wouldn’t even be a Championship-standard player and he’d have to ply his trade in the third or fourth tiers instead.

Bruce is certainly starting to show a ruthlessness that has been desperately needed at The Hawthorns for some time and it could mean huge turnover this summer but after the appalling season we’ve just endured, big moves have to be made to try and stop ourselves from sinking further into Championship no man’s land.

In other West Brom news, we have to show some intent of success and trigger the £12million release clause of one of the Championship’s leading lights.

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