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Top of the West Brom flops...Matt Clarke stars in season to forget

The end of season awards have been dished out.

Matt Clarke of West Bromwich Albion applauds the West Bromwich Albion Fans after the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and AFC Bournemouth at The Hawthorns on April 6, 2022 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Matt Clarke of West Bromwich Albion applauds the West Bromwich Albion Fans after the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and AFC Bournemouth at The Hawthorns on April 6, 2022 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

But who proved to be Albion’s best performer when it came to the Express & Star’s player ratings?

We have gone back through our marks and crunched the numbers to give each squad member an average score. And in a refection of the season, it’s fair to say not a single player truly caught the eye.

Matt Clarke – 6.4

Also voted supporters’ player of the year, it’s no surprise to see Matt Clarke top this poll.

Even Steve Bruce described the Brighton loanee as the Baggies’ most consistent player last season.

Fans would love to see him back at The Hawthorns next year.

Jayson Molumby – 6.4

The Republic of Ireland international started a lot less games than Clarke. But when he did play, he always did a job.

Now at permanent Baggie following his loan, at just 22 years old, he’s only going to get better.

Sam Johnstone – 6.3

His season was overshadowed by the fact everyone knew he was leaving, but Johnstone still proved a steady figure between the sticks.

Jake Livermore – 6.3

The skipper had disciplinary issues. But when he played he was Albion’s best midfielder.

Matt Phillips – 6.3

It was an injury blighted campaign for Phillips. On his day, though, he remains a threat.

David Button – 6.3

The former Fulham man never let anyone down when filling in for Johnstone – with those performances giving him a shot at being number one next season.

Karlan Grant – 6.2

In this writer’s opinion, Grant’s 18 goals make him Albion’s player of the year. Overall, though, his all-round performances were inconsistent – as this rating proves.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman – 6.1

One of the few positives of the season, after starting the campaign as an understudy at right wing-back, Gardner-Hickman went on to show he has a very bright future in central midfield.

Kyle Bartley – 6.1

Bartley looked rock solid at the beginning of the season under Valerien Ismael. His form wobbled in the second-half of the campaign. But there is no doubt he is a steady operator in the Championship.

Semi Ajayi – 6.0

Not at his best under Ismael – who underused him – Ajayi improved significantly under Steve Bruce and is sure to be a big player moving forward.

Adam Reach – 6.0

Solid whenever deployed as a winger or wing-back, Reach would have scored higher but for a failed experiment that saw him struggle when utilised as an attacking, central midfielder.

Callum Robinson – 5.9

The forward scored seven goals and registered nine assists.

Talent-wise, though, Robinson will know his performances were not consistent enough.

Conor Townsend – 5.9

Townsend is a top professional who always gives his all. But you need your wing-backs to consistently offer an attacking threat if you are playing three at the back.

Townsend is arguably Albion’s best crosser of the ball. But he didn’t offer enough over the course of the season going forward. Expect him to thrive next year when Bruce reverts him to left-back.

Darnell Furlong – 5.8

The right wing-back started the season on fire.

Furlong’s energy gave Albion plenty of width while his long throws caused mayhem in the opposition’s box. The 26-year-old was so integral to Ismael’s side that he was rewarded with a new long-term deal back in August.

But like the team as a whole, Furlong’s form dipped drastically and he wasn’t the same player in the second half of the campaign.

Grady Diangana – 5.6

We all know the talent is there.

But Diangana has now struggled for form for two seasons. There were flashes of brilliance last term that suggested he is getting back to his best. And Bruce is understandably desperate to get him firing again. If he does, he’ll have one of the best players in the division.

Alex Mowatt – 5.6

Albion fans were delighted when the club signed Mowatt on a free transfer last season. And the former Leeds man started the season brilliantly – with Mowatt key to everything Ismael wanted to do.

He showed his quality with sensational goals against Cardiff and Blackburn.

But after that flying start his performances dipped drastically.

It’s now emerged Mowatt was playing with an injury for the last three months of the campaign which undoubtedly affected him.

His first season at The Hawthorns wasn’t great. But he still has the potential to be one of the best central midfielders in the division.

Albion players who didn’t meet the Express & Star’s criteria to receive an average rating were: Dara O’Shea, Cedric Kipre, Jordan Hugill, Robert Snodgrass, Tom Fellows, Daryl Dike and Andy Carroll.

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