Championship

West Bromwich Albion: Semi Ajayi lurks in the shadows as Baggies maintain unbeaten start

West Bromwich Albion: Semi Ajayi lurks in the shadows as Baggies maintain unbeaten start

West Bromwich Albion drew 1-1 with Derby County to tie their second consecutive game in the Championship, with one performance standing out to eagle-eyed viewers.

Derby took an early lead through a Martyn Waghorn penalty, after he was brought down by Kieran Gibbs. However, Slaven Bilic’s side equalised after Kenneth Zohore scored his second penalty in as many games for the club.

There were many great performances for the Baggies as they continued their strong start to the Championship season, with both Sam Johnstone and Romaine Sawyers performing well for the Midlanders.

Johnstone was crucial in earning West Brom a point, saving Derby’s second penalty from Waghorn. Meanwhile, Sawyers put in a composed performance in midfield, having the most touches of any player in the side (via WhoScored).

However, it was the performance of centre-back Semi Ajayi which managed to slip under the radar. The 26-year-old proved a strong influence in the Midland side’s backline, as he put in a good defensive performance.

Ajayi won the most headers, made the joint-second most tackles and the second-most blocks of any player in the team (via WhoScored). However, it was the assurance of the centre-back which really highlighted his sturdiness in defence.

Ajayi was one of only four players to not have possession of the ball robbed. The 25-year-old had 50 touches of the ball, playing 45 passes with a success rate of over 80% (via WhoScored).

Express and Star recognised the under-the-radar performance from the centre-back, giving him an 8/10.

They said: “Jack Marriott can be a handful, but Ajayi dealt well with him all game, using his height and strength to ease the Derby striker off the ball and win possession back. Won a match-high five headers and continues to build a promising relationship with Bartley.” (Source: Express and Star)

West Brom fans, were you impressed by Ajayi’s performance? Let us know by commenting below!

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