West Brom will be looking to retain their spot at the top of the Championship table when they take on 12th place Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow night.
And the midweek Championship clash between the two sides is one that could see two promising English midfielders come up against each other in the middle of the park.
During the summer, West Brom brought in Harvey Barnes from Leicester City on loan, while Sheffield Wednesday acquired Josh Onomah from Tottenham for the season.
So with the young English duo set to cross paths on Wednesday night, how do they compare ahead of the encounter between their two teams?
Barnes has made a fine start to life at West Brom, scoring a beautiful curler on his debut against Bolton before hitting the back of the net again with a superb strike from outside the box versus Norwich City.
Capable of playing in attacking midfield, central midfield and out wide, Barnes thrives in areas just around the edge of the area where he is able to get precise shots away.
Under former managers Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis, West Brom have lacked flair players and excitement in attack.
But with Darren Moore now at the helm, that paradigm has shifted somewhat, and the 44-year-old believes Barnes is exactly the kind of player who can offer even more excitement to West Brom supporters.
Speaking on Barnes’ arrival at the Hawthorns, Moore told West Brom’s official club website: “He [Barnes] is an exciting young player — one that I think our supporters will enjoy watching.
“He’s got good experience of the Championship already and I am thrilled at the prospect of him adding his talents to our group. I couldn’t be happier that we have been able to bring him in.”
With all of the above in mind, in this moment of time, Barnes looks to be one of the signings of the summer in the Championship.
TT Grade: A-
After a decent loan spell in the Championship with Aston Villa last season, Onomah will be disappointed to not have been included in the Tottenham squad for this campaign.
Mauricio Pochettino, however, appears to still see value in the 21-year-old having initially told the Evening Standard “Josh is part of our plans” before eventually letting him go out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday.
Onomah has yet to make the same sort of impact that Barnes has, but the Tottenham youth product can definitely offer a lot to Sheffield Wednesday’s midfield.
He is able to play in various midfield positions, while his ability to drive with the ball has seen him compared to Mousa Dembele with the man himself having highlighted the similarities between the two.
“I think of his generation he’s one of the best,” Dembele was quoted saying on Football.London. “Maybe there are a lot of similarities [to him] — he can drive the ball as well, he’s very strong and quick too.”
Overall, it has been a slow start to life at Hillsborough for Onomah, but the England U21 international has enough ability to impose himself on Jos Luhukay’s team.
TT Grade: C+
Onomah’s potential is something that has been spoken about for a long time now, but he has yet to make that next step in his career.
In contrast, Barnes’ development seems to be coming along nicely and if he keeps things up, it would not be a surprise to see him in the Leicester squad next season.
It is still early days, of course. It may only be a matter of time before Onomah is given a run in the team and is able to assert his influence.
But until then, there is no argument for him being the better loan signing compared to Barnes.
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