By Andrew Maddox

26th Jul, 2022 | 10:30am

Steve Bruce almost kept young starlet Caleb Taylor for his West Brom squad

West Brom boss Steve Bruce has revealed he was tempted to keep young defender Caleb Taylor in his squad in an interview with the Express & Star.

Taylor is one of Albion’s brightest prospects and made his Championship debut in the final game of last season after making 20 appearances for their Under-23 side.

Bruce sanctioned a loan move to Cheltenham Town last week but has told the Express & Star he was tempted to keep him in the squad for the coming season.

“It was a big call. For me, for the future of the club, we have four or five out on loan, it’s huge for their development,” he said.

“It’s difficult for a centre-back at 19 to come in and play week in, week out in the Championship.”

Good decision

Bruce is correct in saying that a young player being given too much responsibility can be damaging for them, so he is right in loaning him out.

However, there are also justified concerns that Albion have been left short at the back with the club only having three fit defenders right now.

While these concerns are more than valid, it would probably be too much to pile onto Taylor’s shoulders at a crucial stage of his development.

The future is also bright for Albion’s two other loanees, with Taylor joining Quevin Castro and Josh Griffiths in League One for next season, with the pair heading to Burton and Portsmouth respectively.

Bruce has a good record with youth development throughout his career, just look at recent examples of Elliot Anderson and Callum O’Hare for proof of that.

While fans may be eager to see Taylor, Castro and Griffiths in the first team, they should trust in Bruce to pick out the right development path for the trio.

In other West Brom news, Albion face competition from as many as 11 other clubs for Elliot Anderson.