By Dan Carter

15th Nov, 2023 | 8:28pm

Jeremy Sarmiento tipped to step up during Grady Diangana's AFCON absence at West Brom

Joseph Chapman has tipped Jeremy Sarmiento to be “key” to West Brom should Grady Diangana be included in the Dominican Republic’s African Cup of Nations side.

The winger joined the ranks at The Hawthorns on loan from Brighton this summer but has failed to get up to speed in the Championship having been sidelined with injury for large parts of the early stages of the season.

However, the Baggies’ are set to lose star man Diangana at the beginning of 2024 should he be included in DR Congo’s squad for next year’s AFCON and Birmingham Live reporter Chapman believes Sarmiento could be the man to step up in his absence.

Writing for Birmingham Live (15 November) he said: “Clearly, Albion could do with having Sarmiento available to them in the long run. They also might be one attacker light by the time January arrives.

“Sarmiento, who’ll hopefully be reunited with John Swift and Josh Maja by that stage, and perhaps Daryl Dike too, will then become all the more important a figure as another option for Corberan in the wide areas and challenged to deliver with goals and assists in Diangana’s absence.

“This run of games in the meantime, throughout gruelling December, will be key to building Sarmiento back up with a view to a more established role.”

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Special talent

West Brom looked to have pulled off a bit of a coo when they signed Sarmiento this summer, but for various reasons, the Ecuadorian hasn’t yet hit the heights expected of him as he continues to find his feet in Carlos Corberan’s side.

Having recovered from his recent injury struggles, the 21-year-old made brief cameos against both Hull City and Southampton before the November international break and the Baggies will be hoping that he can build on his return over the festive period.

Albion have nine matches before the turn of the new year and therefore Sarmineto has nine games to show Corberan that he is capable of stepping up in Diangana’s absence and providing the goals and assists from out wide that the 25-year-old has in recent weeks.

There have been glimpses of the 21-year-old’s talent during his brief time in the Midlands so far. The next step for Sarmiento is to show his quality more often and begin influencing matches week in and week out.

If he can add a few more goals and assists to his game, he will be more than capable of replacing Diangana in January.

In other West Brom news, one key member of staff is set to depart The Hawthorns for Championship rivals Stoke City