Steve Bruce could do with signing another centre-back after loaning out Caleb Taylor and Cedric Kipre to Cheltenham Town and Cardiff City respectively. The West Bromwich Albion recently admitted the club can only afford free transfers and loans, so they’ll have to dip in the bargain bucket for a defender that improves the squad.

Of all the English free agents with Premier League and Football League experience, Alfie Mawson stands out. The 28-year-old has made 80 Premier League appearances and 48 in the Championship, playing for the likes of Swansea City, Barnsley, Fulham, Wycombe Wanders and Bristol City among others.

He was last at Fulham (2018 – 2022) but made only 52 appearances in his four years at Craven Cottage due to injuries which may be why West Brom have stayed away this summer. Mawson suffered a knee injury that required surgery midway through his debut season (2018/19) with the West Londoners. He made just 15/38 league appearances.

The following campaign (2019/20) saw the 28-year-old feature in 27/46 league outings, once again undergoing knee surgery midway through. He spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Bristol City but made only 11 league appearances before undergoing knee surgery in October which kept him out for three months.

Mawson was back in January 2021 and played a handful of games before a cruciate ligament injury forced Fulham to recall him. That injury kept the defender out until the 2021/22 season, but he managed just six league appearances before being released at the end of the campaign.

So West Brom would be taking an extraordinary gamble signing Mawson. Bruce already has Kean Bryan recovering from a knee injury, so he may not want another crocked defender.

In other news, West Brom unlikely to re-sign Matthew Clarke