Going into a vital run of fixtures, West Bromwich Albion will be without captain Chris Brunt after it was revealed he would be ruled out for up to six after suffering medial ligament damage against Manchester United.
Brunt was subbed after 65 minutes against the Red Devils and he will be a big miss for Albion.
West Brom will be missing a player with vital experience in a relegation battle. In years gone by he has been part of the club that have dug out Premier League victories to ensure survival in the English top flight. The captain offers an abundance of experience, and with centre back Jonas Olsson, is a leader at the club.
He offers something unique from the rest of the midfielders at the club. The Northern Ireland international possess an exceptional left foot and creates chances for the side. His passing range is exceptional, creating opportunities from all angles.
Before his injury against United he was one of a few players who looked like carving opening the young Manchester defence. He was willing to dribble the ball down the side lines taking players on which stretched the oppositions creating space for other players. If more members of the team played to their full potential, Brunt would have been able bring others into the game which could have made it a tighter match.
With the announcement of Nicholas Anelka’s exit from the club, the absence of Brunt will come as even more of a blow. They will be missing more Premier League experience on the pitch, and creative players.
Brunt will especially be missed because of his delivery from set pieces, especially corners. His talented left foot usually means he can get the ball where he wants in the 18 yards box, and West Brom have been dangerous from set pieces in the past few season. Players have benefited from his delivery, especially Gareth McAuley, who has headed in some vital goals for the Baggies since joining from Ipswich.
As well as creating chances, Brunt has proven in the past he can score the occasional goal. With the teams highest league goal scorer being Saido Berahino on just four, The Baggies need all the goal scoring prowess they can get. Both his goals this season were fantastic strikes against Aston Villa and Newcastle United.
He may not be a big hit with all the fans at The Hawthorns, but Brunt will be a big loss for the club in their bid to battle against relegation. He creates chances for others and has the ability to score goals. He will be sorely missed during the next few weeks and Albion could struggle without him.