With West Brom failing to sign a left-back over the summer transfer window, Chris Brunt has continued in his unconventional position in defence.
The natural left-winger has struggled at times during Tony Pulis’ reign as head coach, but recent improvements from Brunt have seen him establish himself as the Baggies’ first-choice - and best - left-back.
Whilst not being the fastest, Brunt continues to patrol the left-wing as an attacking player, but his defensive work is the area that he has truly improved, and some questionable displays in his unnatural role at the beginning of his position change.
The Baggies secured a 0-0 draw with Southampton at the weekend, with Brunt particularly impressing.
He won three tackles and completed five clearances, and his sense of positioning is exceptional for a player who started his career as a wide attacker. It helps having a coach of Pulis’ aptitude to learn from, and Brunt appears to have developed into a top class left-back since his appointment.
He continues to retain some of his old attacking flair, playing two key passes and three crosses against the Saints, but with Pulis able to call upon the likes of James McClean and Callum McManaman, there is no need for Brunt to play the more attacking role.
When Pulis was appointed at the Hawthorns, he cast Sebastien Pocognoli out of his first-team, and pushed Brunt into the deeper position. He then decided not to sign a new left-back over the summer, to continue with the 30-year-old in that role, and it appears as if Pulis’ faith has started to be repaid with some top class performances from Brunt.