West Brom offer new deal to Dara O'Shea
Head coach Slaven Bilic has hailed Dara O’Shea as Albion’s present and future after confirming the defender has been offered a new contract.
O’Shea joined the Baggies as a 16-year-old after being spotted playing for Irish outfit St Kevin’s Boys Club in 2016.
And this season has seen the Dubliner force his way into the first-team fold, with O’Shea making his Championship debut against Brentford last month.
The 20-year-old then impressed in the FA Cup victory at Charlton in January – with Bilic believing the defender has a big future at The Hawthorns.
“He has been offered a new contract, definitely,” the boss said.
“I have said from the start, from July, that he is the present and the future of the club.
“I love Dara O’Shea. We all love him.
“But forget how nice he is as a kid, I love Dara as a football player.
“In the summer, we lost three players in that position – (Craig) Dawson, (Mason) Holgate and (Tosin) Adarabioyo plus (Ahmed) Hegazi had surgery.
“But we only brought in one. The club wanted to bring in more, and the only reason we didn’t was Dara.
“From day one, he showed dedication, motivation, readiness to learn and, more than anything, potential and quality.”
Primarily a centre-half, O’Shea was deployed at right-back in the FA Cup win at Charlton with Nathan Ferguson injured and Darnell Furlong rested.
And Bilic says he would be happy to deploy him in that role again in the future.
“We wanted to test him in that right-back position,” the head coach added. “With the injury to Nathan that position has become a bit more fragile – or not as secure.
I had no doubts but you still have to see him there. It was only theory, it was only I think you can do it but he proved us right.”