Corberan had a howler letting “menacing” West Brom gem leave

    West Bromwich Albion, despite injury concerns having the potential to derail them throughout the season, still find themselves in the thick of the playoff mix.

    Overcoming Coventry City 2-1 last time out was arguably a statement win, beating a rival fighting it out for a playoff spot alongside the Baggies to consolidate fifth spot in the Championship rankings.

    Alex Mowatt would stand out in the narrow victory over the Sky Blues, only misplacing two of his 69 passes at the Hawthorns as a cool presence in the middle of the park.

    Yet, although Mowatt would gain the plaudits at the full-time whistle as a key performer, there might well be some regrets from a West Brom perspective that they didn’t keep one former midfielder at the club who is similar to their 29-year-old standout man.

    Taylor Gardner-Hickman’s time at West Brom

    There must have been some sadness when Taylor Gardner-Hickman departed permanently for Bristol City in January, the 22-year-old leaving his homegrown club after failing to become a star in the senior side.

    Gardner-Hickman would come into the first-team fold at the Hawthorns with a lot of hype attached to his name, leaving both the U18s and U21s with 17 goal contributions from 64 appearances.

    Able to play in a central midfield spot – where Mowatt continues to shine – Gardner-Hickman could also do a competent job playing at full-back and further forward down the wings.

    It’s in Mowatt’s current spot where the 6 foot 2 figure would show signs of his quality, picking up a goal and assist from 11 appearances.

    It was an underwhelming transition for the former West Brom number 29 to first-team football in truth, who would only pick up one more goal and two more assists before exiting the West Midlands initially just on loan to Bristol City.

    Gardner-Hickman would however make it a permanent switch to Ashton Gate at the start of 2024, with the current Robins number 22 never looking back since to make West Brom rue their decision to offload their ex-youth product.

    With West Brom’s bad luck when it comes to injury niggles having the potential to trouble them again, having such a flexible figure in Gardner-Hickman at their disposal currently would have been handy.

    Taylor Gardner-Hickman at Bristol City

    Gardner-Hickman cuts a far more confident figure playing for his new employers over being a bit-part player for West Brom, resulting in the 22-year-old matching Mowatt’s numbers in Bristol now.

    The new recruit has one goal and four assists next to his name this campaign donning Bristol City red, with that solitary strike being a wonder goal cannoning in off the crossbar against Middlesbrough late last year in a pulsating 3-2 win.

    Once described as being a “menacing” talent for the Baggies by BirminghamLive journalist Alex Dicken, Gardner-Hickman is finally showing off this class for Bristol with regular game-time handed to him by Liam Manning working wonders.

    It would have been a crushing severing of the ties between Corberan’s side and Gardner-Hickman this January – considering the 22-year-old had been in and around the West Brom ranks since 2009 – with the 6 foot 2 man’s improved form since exiting making the promotion chasers even sicker about letting him go.


    Still, West Brom will just hope that the likes of Mowatt can steer them to a promotion to make letting go of Gardner-Hickman easier to stomach.

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