Ex-Burnley and Stoke man Erik Pieters training with West Brom

Former Burnley and Stoke left-back Eric Pieters is training with Albion in a bid to gain fitness and impress Steve Bruce.

Erik Pieters is training with Albion after leaving Burnley in the summer (AMA)
Erik Pieters is training with Albion after leaving Burnley in the summer (AMA)

Former Netherlands internationals Pieters, 34, is without a club since leaving Turf Moor at the end of last season, where he had a three-year spell.

The powerful full-back has been training with Bruce's Baggies for some time while having no club but it is not thought talk of a contract has yet been mentioned. Pieters can also play at the heart of defence.

Bruce has confirmed Albion are in the free-agent market after a trying end to last week's transfer window deadline, where loan moves for midfield duo Josh Onomah and Steven Alzate from Fulham and Brighton fell through.

The Hawthorns boss was left to work with a small squad which he is looking to supplement with a couple of free unattached targets.

The one recruit Albion did add on deadline day was a defender and a free agent as Martin Kelly, a right-back who is capable of playing centre-half, checked in as cover for the injured Semi Ajayi.

Pieters has spent much of the last decade playing English top-flight football with the Potters and the Clarets. He played more than 200 games for Stoke between 2013 and 2019 before three seasons at Burnley.

Left-back options are thin on the ground for Bruce beyond first-choice Conor Townsend. Youngster Zac Ashworth, who is 20 tomorrow, has been on the bench in the Championship this season and the versatile Adam Reach can fill in if required.

Bruce said on looking at free transfers: "We'll scour that. I'm sure everybody else will be scouring the same thing.

"We'll be looking, see what's out there. There hasn't been a lot of money spent in this division, certainly not even in the last few days because of the situation everybody finds themselves in."

The Baggies drew 1-1 with Pieters' former club Burnley in a dramatic Hawthorns finale on Friday night, where last week's new recruit from Salford City Brandon Thomas-Asante struck a memorable 98th-minute equaliser.

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