West Bromwich Albion host Everton at the Hawthorns on Thursday evening and Sam Allardyce has a difficult decision to make at centre-back. Semi Ajayi was suspended in the Baggies’ 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion and Dara O’Shea impressed in his absence, so he could miss out against the Toffees.
Allardyce was asked if O’Shea had given him a selection headache ahead of Thursday’s clash and told the Express and Star: “Absolutely – we got a clean sheet and Dara has performed very well. Dara was unlucky to be left out the side anyway.
“He did a job for us filling in in a few different positions and then found himself left out the team which is very disappointing. He wouldn’t have looked upon me as the kindest because it was me who shifted him about and then left him out.
“He must have thought if he had stayed where he was he would have kept his place in the side. But he is a good, honest, lad and tries to help the team out.” O’Shea has made 22 appearances in all competitions this season and has only missed two league games since December (Transfermarkt), so Allardyce is clearly a fan.
West Brom have conceded only one goal in their last three league games and Ajayi has featured in two of those matches alongside Kyle Bartley. O’Shea has amassed more minutes of playing time since the 1-1 draw with Manchester United and hasn’t conceded a goal, so he’s staking a claim to start.
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O’Shea has been a regular for West Brom in a variety of roles since December, so he can be trusted to put in a performance. He played for nearly an hour from the bench in the Burnley draw and then shut out Brighton a week later, so it might be a controversial decision to take him out.