Steve Bruce was honest when asked about West Bromwich Albion’s transfer plans this summer, admitting some players from the squad will have to leave as new signings are brought in.
He said via Express and Star: “We’ve got to balance the squad – we don’t want too many. There’s going to be one or two leaving because (the transfer window) is just starting if I’m being brutally honest. We will see what develops.”
West Brom are bereft of depth at fullback and midfield, but they have an abundance of centre-backs – Semi Ajay, Dara O’Shea, Kyle Bartley, Kean Bryan, Cedric Kipre.
Bryan spent his debut campaign sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, but he was given a handful of appearances prior to the setback. The 25-year-old has returned to fitness and has been working hard in a training camp to ensure he’s fit going into next season, but his long-term future is up in the air.
There aren’t going to be buyers for Bryan given the difficult year he’s had, so he’ll likely be kept at West Brom and used in a supporting role next season. Kipre, however, might not be so fortunate.
The 25-year-old hasn’t played a single minute of football since Bruce was appointed manager, so he might not be happy spending the 2022/23 campaign as an unused substitute.
Kipre has two years left on his deal, so West Brom can afford to loan him out this summer if they can’t find a buyer. He went out on loan in 2021 due to a lack of playing time, so it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to be sent away again.