Romaine Sawyers should in line for a starting place for West Bromwich Albion when the Premier League returns if his impressive passing statistics are taken into account.
The 29-year-old midfielder arrived at The Hawthorns in the summer of 2019, six years after leaving the club on a permanent deal for Walsall.
A further spell with Brentford saw him enhance his reputation in the Championship and then return to his boyhood club, with whom he would gain promotion to the Premier League this summer.
Providing Slaven Bilic with a trusted option in midfield, Sawyers played alongside Jake Livermore in a holding midfield duo, featuring in no fewer than 42 Championship matches last term.
Despite his consistency and regular football last term, the Birmingham-born footballer has struggled to convince Bilic for a consistent starting place in the top flight, playing just four times from the start and coming on twice from the bench.
A WhoScored average match rating of 6.14 out of 10 looks unimpressive on paper but the Saint Kitts and Nevis international has a remarkably good passing success rate, completing 85.6% of his 26.7 average passes per game.
That statistic makes him arguably the most effective West Brom midfielder at the present time, ahead of the likes of Filip Krovinovic and Jake Livermore.
Some Baggies fans debated Sawyers and his potential starting place recently via Twitter, with one fan saying the midfielder is Bilic’s ‘best fit’ in that position.
Twitter: @matt_wba @JosephMasi_Star @LHatfield_Star Not really which is a problem, the second bit was more an opinion. Sawye… https://t.co/WadmQW75jJ (@alfwbaV3)
Twitter: @alfwbaV3 @JosephMasi_Star @LHatfield_Star yeah it’s where other teams will probably have the depth that we don’t..… https://t.co/uyg04eLblt (@matt_wba)
Bilic’s first starting XI after the international break will certainly be an interesting one to see, especially with the Croatian seemingly under pressure to keep his job.
A number of surprise changes could be made but, judging by Sawyers’ statistics, his inclusion may not be that much of a shock and is certainly worth considering.