Why West Brom should move for Enock Kwateng in January
The Baggies are joined by Premier League duo, West Ham and Brighton, in their pursuit of the highly-rated 22-year-old, who has caught the eye with a string of impressive displays in Ligue 1 following a switch to Bordeaux from fellow Ligue 1 outfit Nantes this past summer. (Telegraph h/t Birmingham Live)
Kwateng, who is currently rated at £4million by Bordeaux, still has plenty of time left to run on his existing contract until 2023 but that hasn’t prevented some of the English clubs to pursue a keen interest in securing his services during the mid-season trading period in January.
Born in France to parents of Ghanaian descent, the 22-year-old started his footballing education at Mantois before furthering his development and turning professional with Nantes in Ligue 1.
Kwateng’s consistently impressive displays at Nantes earned him a move to Bordeaux this past summer. The 22-year-old, who has represented France across various age-group levels from U16 to U20, has made 8 appearances for Bordeaux so far this season, registering one assist in the process.
While that tally doesn’t really look all that impressive, his statistics certainly make for some handsome readings on paper.
As per whoscored, Enock Kwateng has averaged 39.8 passes per game at an accuracy rate of 79.2%, including 0.5 key passes, 0.4 crosses, 1.3 long balls, 2.6 aerial duels, 3.1 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 3,4 clearances per game in the Ligue 1 this term.
Those numbers certainly speak volumes of the kind of progress he has made in recent months while also throwing light on his powerful and tough-tackling nature as a defender.
To put things into perspective, West Brom are currently not crying out for a new right-back but Enock Kwateng looks like a player in the right age bracket who could possibly play a big role for the Baggies in the years to come.
Darnell Furlong- who arrived at the Hawthorns from QPR during the summer, has shared the right-back duties with teenage breakout star Nathan Ferguson.
Both the players have done exceptionally well in the Championship under Bilic, however, with Ferguson out of contract in 2020 and yet to put pen to paper on fresh terms amidst widespread interest from the Premier League clubs (h/t Daily Mail), West Brom might have to start preparing for life without their star academy graduate.
According to a report from the Daily Mail published back in November, West Brom could be forced to cash in on the 19-year-old in January to avoid losing him for next to nothing in 2020, with Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace among the potential suitors.
Furlong has made a positive impact since his move to West Midlands but the Baggies would need another right-back in their ranks to ensure adequate competition for places if Ferguson were to depart somewhere down the line.
Kwateng is still inexperienced at the highest level but the 22-year-old has plenty of time on his side to make the step up to a more competitive league in the years to come.
The Frenchman apparently has the raw materials to play a part for the Baggies in the Premier League next season and Bilic has already shown his proficiency in extracting the best out of young players.
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Suffice to say, West Brom beating off competition in the race to sign Enock Kwateng could pay off handsomely for them moving forward.