West Bromwich Albion are looking for the next Chris Brunt.
The Baggies have started a recruitment drive designed specifically to target young left-footed players, according to assistant academy recruitment officer Matt Richardson, and reported via the Express & Star.
The initiative has been brought about by the lack of left-sided players currently amongst the West Brom youth set up.
And Richardson explained how the club have made it their priority to bring talented left-footed youngsters to the club, as quoted by the Express & Star:
West Brom are on the look-out for the next Chris Brunt
“We’re targeting an area of the talent pool that we don’t think is particularly well covered. It’s not a case that if you’ve got a left foot you will be signed, but left-footers are on the agenda. It’s an area that we are focusing on because we don’t feel we’ve got enough quality left-footed players.”
Having left sided players as part of a squad certainly provides an additional option and enables managers and coaches to set up their side with greater tactical variety.
Richardson went on to highlight how some of the greatest players in the game are left-footed, as quoted by the Express & Star:
Barcelona's Lionel Messi
“Most players and people are naturally right-footed. But if you look back at the last 20 or 30 years, a lot of players at the top of the game have had a strong left foot. Just look at Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi. There’s certainly something different and exciting about watching a left footed player. From a defensive point of view when you’re playing a right-footer like yourself you can mirror that, but when it’s in reverse it’s difficult."
It is an interesting outlook on the game, and one that could prove to be extremely forward-thinking, should the initiative bear fruit over the next few years.
In the meantime, however, Tony Pulis will be expected to bring in some established stars to the Hawthorns over the course of the January transfer window, after what their fans perceived as poor player recruitment in the summer.
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis