Express & Star

Taylor Gardner-Hickman commits future to West Brom

Taylor Gardner-Hickman has put pen to paper on a new four-and-a-half year deal with Albion, the club has confirmed.

West Bromwich Albion's Taylor Gardner-Hickman inspects the pitch before the Sky Bet Championship match at the Oakwell Stadium, Barnsley. Picture date: Friday December 17, 2021. See PA story SOCCER Barnsley. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

The academy graduate, who turns 20 today, has made a big impression on fans after bursting into the first-team earlier this season.

Primarily a right-sided player, Gardner Hickman has caught the eye playing at right wing-back – the position head coach Valerien Ismael sees him in long term.

But he is also put in excellent displays when asked to fill-in at central midfield and left wing-back.

And now Gardner-Hickman has committed his long-term future to Albion after signing a new contract that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2026.

The new deal supersedes Gardner-Hickman’s previous contract, which had been due to expire at the end of next season.

On the new deal, head coach Ismael said: "This is great news. Taylor is the beginning of the project from when I came in – to link the academy to the first team.

"We wanted to create a pathway and Taylor is the first player me and my staff have been able to bring through.

“We hope and we want more players to follow this pathway – but this is a great statement from Taylor with this commitment to the club.

"Now, I am looking forward to working with him. It’s great news for everyone at the club.

“Taylor has shown already that he plays without fear, that he has a great attitude and mentality.

"He represents exactly what we want to see from young players. He’s hungry, he has desire, he’s fearless. He also has a lot of quality.

“After Dara O’Shea, I think he is the second one with the same profile and I’m delighted to be able to work with him in the years to come.”

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