West Bromwich Albion haven’t had the best start to the Championship, but they’re still in the top half of the standings.
West Bromwich Albion’s start has been encouraging, but there are some results that will let them down over the course of the season, frustrating its devoted fans.
After an opening-day setback to Blackburn, fans feared the worst for the rest of the season, but a three-game unbeaten run that included victories over Middlesbrough and Swansea placed them on track for the play-offs.
The Baggies have seven points from five games in the Championship, and while improvements are needed, fans will want to see a greater step-up from some of their players, with three of their current squad dividing opinion. Football League World looks at the three players that are raising eyebrows this season.
Diangana joined West Brom on loan in 2019-20 while the Baggies were in the Championship, and a good time at The Hawthorns earned him a permanent move when the Baggies got promoted to the Premier League.
But things aren’t going as planned for the small winger. He has an undeniable quality, which is obvious. However, it is his ability to be productive over the course of a season that is his primary weakness, and given the £12 million sum that the Baggies paid for him, you’d expect him to displace Jed Wallace and Matt Phillips from the club at some time.
With only 27 league appearances last season, the winger fell out of favor, and with only two minutes of play so far this season, he is on the fringes of the squad.
His worth has plummeted in the last two years, but there is a talent in there who you felt could have flourished under Carlos Corberan. It might be the final opportunity saloon.
Kipre came through the ranks at fellow Midlands club Leicester City, and after establishing his name at Wigan Athletic, he joined the Baggies after they were promoted to the Premier League in 2020.
He did not play in the Premier League and, despite 14 appearances in 2021-22, departed on loan to Cardiff last season.
But, following the departure of Dara O’Shea to Burnley, he has been catapulted into the first-team, though The Hawthorns crowd remain skeptical.]
Kipre can be an imposing centre-back and one of the league’s top talents on his day, but that day can also turn into a horror show – just look at his performance against Blackburn on the opening day of the season to see that.
As a result, the power that O’Shea brought is gone, leaving West Brom fans torn about their returning man.
Ajayi joined the Baggies in 2019, after scoring seven goals from centre-back for Rotherham in 2018-19, clearly piqued the interest of clubs in the second division.
They gained promotion to the Premier League in his first full season, and Ajayi has been a constant at the back under Corberan, Steve Bruce, and others.
However, some fans believe the defense lacks the necessary qualities to get them where they need to go.
He’ll be eager to disprove them.