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West Brom's Taylor Gardner-Hickman impresses Steve Bruce

Albion boss Steve Bruce has welcomed some 'food for thought' after Taylor Gardner-Hickman's impressive right-back display on Thursday.

Taylor Gardner-Hickman (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Taylor Gardner-Hickman (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Academy graduate Taylor-Hickman, 20, played 90 minutes on the right of a back four and caught the eye as one of his side's standout players in the Carabao Cup victory over Sheffield United.

There has been debate over the England under-20 international's best position. He was an option at wing-back in Albion's previous formation and impressed at times in the heart of midfield last season. But Bruce was impressed with that he saw of the youngster at full-back.

He said: "I thought he was excellent, he's been terrific since I arrived at the club.

"He wants to play every game, he did very, very well and that's his position, so that gives us food for thought too."

Gardner-Hickman made 21 appearances, including 19 in the Championship, in a breakthrough campaign last season.

The versatile Telford-born youngster said: "I'd like to think I've hopefully got in his mind a little bit.

"But like I said the lads who play will always give their best.

"I'd love to say I want to play more games than last season but I'll just do my best day in, day out in training and with minutes I get and hopefully I will get that start and get in the gaffer's mind."

Gardner-Hickman added on a memorable night for the Baggies academy: "It's crazy to see you come up training with them (academy players) all, so it's nice to see the young lads getting some recognition and minutes they deserve."

Bruce, meanwhile, confirmed Villa striker Keinan Davis, 24, is an 'option' Albion are looking at to solve their striker crisis.

Karlan Grant, who hobbled off on Thursday, is the only fit No.9 given injuries to Daryl Dike – who will miss a couple of months – and Kenneth Zohore, who is free to leave.

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