West Brom's Romaine Sawyers can make it to the top
Slaven Bilic believes Romaine Sawyers has the potential to make it to the very top of the game.
In his glittering career, the Albion head coach has played with and managed a host of top stars including Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Frank Lampard and Robert Prosinecki.
And Bilic believes if Sawyers continues to work hard, he too can be an elite midfielder.
“As a player and a person he’s got everything,” the former Croatia boss said.
“I’ve worked with some midfielders and I’ve played with some midfielders – he’s there.
“Every game he’s getting better and better.
“He’s putting his stamp on them more and more.
“He was doing that at the beginning, at Brentford last season and a few seasons before that, he’s been very consistent.
“That’s why he’s very important for our team, and that’s why it’s not only us who are talking about him.
“He’s getting the plaudits from the whole country. He must stay humble and work hard. But I’m not afraid for him.”
On a number of occasions Bilic has said he will “never be happy” with Sawyers.
But the boss explained he says that to push the 28-year-old to be the best he can be.
“Of course I am happy with him,” Bilic continued.
“After a couple of games he was having big moments, but then there was a gap and then a big moment and then a gap. I wanted that to last.
“I’ve been happy with him from the start.
“But now him and Jake (Livermore) and very instrumental for us.
“They are bossing the game and I am really happy with him.
“But can he do even better? Of course he can.
“As I said, he’s one of the best midfielders I’ve worked with and I’ve worked with some really good players.
“And therefore, and he doesn’t mind I don’t think, we want to raise the bar very, very high.
“He should also never be happy but in a positive way, not in a negative way.
“Of course, he is playing good. But when you have so much ability, you can improve in every game and in every month.”
Meanwhile, Albion’s game home game with Stoke, which had been scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 18, has been moved to Monday, January 20, for live television coverage.