Does squad size matter? How West Brom's current options stack up against two previous Championship sides

Steve Bruce has admitted that going into the new season with the size of the squad he has is a gamble.

Okay Yokuslu of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship between Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion at John Smith's Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Okay Yokuslu of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship between Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion at John Smith's Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Albion have a decent sized squad, with injuries and players out on loan decreases the options - something Bruce is hoping to change today with hours left until the deadline.

Back in August the Baggies boss said: "I've let eight go, and we've brought in three. I still think that we're at least a couple short of where we need to be, but I'd rather work with 20 than 28. I've always said that it's not going to happen in one transfer window, not with the restricted finances that we've got."

On the face of it, Albion have 27 senior players, excluding loanees who are out at other clubs, but the reality to that tells a very different picture.

And it was a similar case in the two previous Championship squads prior to Bruce taking over the club last year.

So, how do the number stack up? Here is a look back at the resources available to Slaven Bilic in his promotion season - and to Darren Moore and Jimmy Shan when they guided Albion to the play offs in 2019.

2022/23 (27)

Goalkeepers (3)

David Button, Alex Palmer, Ted Cann

Full backs (5)

Darnell Furlong, Ethan Ingram, Taylor Gardner-Hickman, Conor Townsend, Zac Ashworth

Centre backs (4)

Semi Ajayi (Injured), Kyle Bartley, Kean Bryan (Injured), Dara O'Shea

Centre midfielders (4)

Jake Livermore, Okay Yokuslu, Adam Reach, Jayson Molumby

Wingers/Attacking midfielders (5)

Jed Wallace, Grady Diangana, Matt Phillips, Tom Fellows, John Swift

Strikers (6)

Daryl Dike (Injured), Ken Zohore, Reyes Cleary, Callum Robinson, Karlan Grant, Brandon Thomas-Asante

Like has been stated, on the face of it Albion have 27 players in their squad. Take Daryl Dike, Semi Ajayi and Kean Bryan out of that and then you are down to 24 immediately. Three are goalkeepers, so in terms of outfield players that leaves you with 21.

Ken Zohore has been cast aside, so now it is 20. Reyes Cleary, Ethan Ingram and Zac Ashworth are youth products who have had limited game time in the cup, so excluding those three, who will play a part at some point this season, that is 17 outfield players heading into the season.

2019/20 (27)

Goalkeepers (3)

Sam Johnstone, Ali Al Habsi, Jonathan Bond

Full backs (5)

Nathan Ferguson, Darnell Furlong, Kieran Gibbs, Conor Townsend, Lee Peltier

Centre backs (4)

Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley, Dara O'Shea, Ahmed Hegazy

Centre midfielders (6)

Gareth Barry, Chris Brunt, Rekeem Harper, Filip Krovinovic, Romaine Sawyers, Jake Livermore

Jay Fulton of Swansea City and Filip Krovinovic of West Bromwich Albion.

Wingers/Attacking midfielders (5)

Grady Diangana, Kyle Edwards, Kamil Grosicki, Matheus Pereira, Matt Phillips

Strikers (4)

Charlie Austin, Ken Zohore, Callum Robinson, Hal Robson-Kanu

At the end of the season, Bilic had 27 senior players at his disposal as Albion crawled over the promotion line.

But Callum Robinson and Kamil Grosicki came in during the January window, so going into the campaign he had 25 players. Take your goalkeepers off that, then he had 23 outfield players heading onto the campaign.

A significantly healthy number heading into a Championship campaign. It would fluctuate during the campaign - as Nathan Ferguson left the club to join Crystal Palace.

2018/19 (26)

Goalkeepers (3)

Sam Johnstone, Boaz Myhill, Jonatan Bond

Full backs (5)

Tosin Adarabioyo, Kieran Gibbs, Tyrone Mears, Conor Townsend, Mason Holgate

Centre backs (3)

Kyle Bartley, Craig Dawson, Ahmed Hegazy

Centre midfielders (7)

Gareth Barry, Chris Brunt, Sam Field, Rekeem Harper, Jake Livermore, James Morrison, Stefan Johansen

Wingers/Attacking midfielders (5)

Wes Hoolahan, Jefferson Montero, Jonathan Leko, Matt Phillips, Jacob Murphy

Strikers (3)

Dwight Gayle of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1.

Hal Robson-Kanu, Jay Rodriguez, Dwight Gayle

It was a similar number during the 2018/19 campaign - however that was inflated by business done in January.

By the end of the window Moore had 26 senior players in his squad. Take out Johansen, Montero, and Mason Holgate out of the equation, as they arrived in the mid season window, that is down to 23, take off the three goalkeepers, that is 19 outfield players.

Now that number is marginally more than Bruce has currently - however the number of forwards in the squad is something that ranks lower than the other two squads.

However, it is quality over quantity as Gayle and Rodriguez managed to bad 46 goals between them.

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