West Brom's Brandon Thomas-Asante insists there is quality in lower leagues

New Albion hotshot Brandon Thomas-Asante is keen to pay tribute to the quality of football in the lower leagues.

Brandon Thomas-Asante of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Burnley at The Hawthorns on September 3, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Brandon Thomas-Asante of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Burnley at The Hawthorns on September 3, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The 23-year-old made his switch from fourth-tier Salford City to The Hawthorns over a week ago, on the eve of the transfer deadline, and became an instant hero with an unforgettable late goal against Burnley two days later.

Boss Steve Bruce was content to rely on the £300,000 acquisition as back-up and competition to regular striker Karlan Grant, who has shouldered much of the burden up front due to an injury to Daryl Dike.

Aside from a handful of games in League One as a teenager with hometown club MK Dons, Thomas-Asante has spent the majority of his career in the fourth division and explained the quality in the depths of the pyramid.

"There's definitely more quality across the board," said Thomas-Asante.

"I want to say there are good players in League Two, waiting for their opportunity, so credit to them for that.

"But in terms of playing (against Burnley), it was very quick, everyone's very assured on the ball. You have to be a lot more switched on, you can't get away with being a metre out of position that you might get away with in that league.

"I'm sure I'll keep learning more lessons as the weeks go on."

Albion have a rich heritage of players, some of the finest to have pulled on the club's colours, to have been plucked from further down the football pyramid.

Thomas-Asante was spotted by Bruce as the Baggies boss regularly watched Salford City due to his son-in-law, former Blues and Millwall frontman Matt Smith, turning out for the Ammies.

"There are so many, I can't stress that enough, players in the lower leagues," added Thomas-Asante.

"I've played in the National League and didn't score a goal and have scored a goal in the Championship.

"Not to say it will always be that easy, I'm under no illusion, but hopefully I can be an inspiration.

"There is a big difference but I would say it's do-able, one game doesn't prove it, but I know I have to keep on going. It's a good start, I'll take it."

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