West Brom fans may have had questions regards Slaven Bilic's reticence to sign defenders when he arrived at the club last June. Yesterday, those questions were in some way answered after Irish underage international Dara O'Shea made his league debut for the Baggies.
The Dubliner had previously played in the Carabao Cup for the Hawthorns outfit, but yesterday's 1-1 draw with Brentford saw the 20-year-old finally make his league debut when replacing Kyle Bartley during the second half.
A strong performance from O'Shea subsequently drew praise from his manager who insisted that the Irishman was one of the reasons he didn't feel the need to strengthen his defence during the summer transfer window.
— Dara O'Shea (@dara_oshea_) December 21, 2019
"I don’t like to praise or criticise the players based on half an hour, it’s a bit amateur," Bilic told the Birmingham Mail.
I am gonna praise him, because I know he ain’t gonna be ‘big time’. Dara is the future, and he can be present. Dara is one of the reasons why when I came to the club we didn’t sign another defender.
They wanted to bring in not only Semi [Ajayi] but another, because they were lacking numbers. I didn’t want to.
Why? Because of Dara. I believe in him. Based on today, he’s a player. I love Dara.
Meanwhile, O'Shea told the club website: “It’s the best Christmas present.”
Elsewhere, Irish underage striker Conor Noss has had his contracted extended with Borussia Monchengladbach, who currently sit in second place in the Bundesliga.