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West Brom can solve Kipre contract mess by unleashing 21y/o gem who “leads by example”

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After all of the drama of this Championship season has passed, West Bromwich Albion will know that they must try to sign Cedric Kipre to a new contract at the Hawthorns, as his current one is scheduled to expire in June.

Originally sent out on loan to Cardiff City as a peripheral player clinging to his Baggies future, the 27-year-old is now a staple in the center of defense for Carlos Corberan’s team, having made 44 appearances this season across all competitions.

The center back’s future in the West Midlands is still uncertain, though, and if an extended contract cannot be struck for the former Leeds United player, Alex Mowatt may even follow the defender out the door.

If Kipre does depart in the summer, Corberan will likely turn his attention to the current crop of young players emerging at the Hawthorns, with this 21-year-old defender maybe prepared to seize the starting position.

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The tenure of Caleb Taylor at West Brom

Caleb Taylor, who his previous U18 coach Peter Gilbert described as a guy who “leads by example,” may see more first-team opportunities the next season if Kipre does go.

Taylor, who thrived in the West Midlands youth setups over 69 games, has made nine appearances in the main squad for the Baggies so far.

With four assists from those U18 and U21 games, the 21-year-old has demonstrated that he can set up teammates for goals, much like Kipre did with Jed Wallace away at Leicester City last weekend.

with the most recent transfer window, West Brom made the decision to loan Taylor to Bolton Wanderers until the conclusion of the campaign with the hopes that the center-back’s time there would be formative and he could get more experience with the Trotters.

Although Taylor’s time away from the Hawthorns hasn’t been without setbacks due to injury, he has made significant progress since returning. Last time out, the 21-year-old delighted Bolton manager Ian Evatt with a start against Port Vale.

The tenure of Caleb Taylor at Bolton

Taylor has only appeared in six games for Evatt’s League One team since signing, but his performance against Darren Moore’s Valiants was unquestionably his best.

Taylor may have established himself as a sure starter now if Bolton must settle for the playoffs, as the Trotters manager praised him for playing “really well” against Vale’s physical forward Uche Ikpeazu all afternoon. Ikpeazu even left Evatt with “two broken ribs” during an encounter in his playing days.

Taylor’s numbers vs Port Vale
Minutes played 90
Touches 107
Clearances 5
Tackles 4
Interceptions 4
Duels won 12/15
Stats by Sofascore

Taylor was a rock in the final 2-0 victory for his loan team, as the table above illustrates. He heroically won 12 duels against Vale and demonstrated his composure on the ball by accumulating 107 touches while playing out of the back.

With the Rams’ superior goal differential and final-day task of needing just a point against an already-relegated Carlisle United to go up, it appears unlikely that the Trotters can leapfrog Derby County at the last minute to that second automatic spot. However, Taylor will be relishing the prospect of the playoffs to get even more minutes under his belt for his temporary employers.

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Returning to the West Midlands, Corberan will also be getting his squad ready for the scraps that await them in the division above playoffs. After this crazy season is finished, the Spaniard might even further integrate Taylor into the West Brom first team lineup.

The Baggies may therefore already have a ready-made replacement if Kipre decides to go when his contract expires later this year.

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