West Bromwich Albion were held to a 1-1 draw by Middlesbrough on Saturday evening and Semi Ajayi was one of many players who shone at the Riverside Stadium. The 28-year-old started alongside Dara O’Shea at centre-back, in place of Kyle Bartley, and vindicated the decision with an assured defensive performance.

Not only did Ajayi play his part in limiting Middlesbrough to only two shots on target in their own backyard, he was also involved in the build up to West Brom’s equaliser, tackling in the penalty area and playing a long-range pass out of danger. The resulting attack saw John Swift score from a Jed Wallace cutback.

Against Boro, Ajayi played for 90 minutes, had 60 touches, completed 79% of his 38 passes, blocked one shot, made five clearances, had six tackles and made one interception. The Nigerian international has picked up from where he left off last season, forcing his way into the starting eleven on merit and becoming un-droppable.

Steve Bruce will be hoping Ajayi puts in another solid performance at the back when West Brom welcome Watford to the Hawthorns on Monday. He’s been a regular in pre-season and looks in great condition to keep the opposition at bay.

In other news, Jed Wallace impressed v Middlesbrough