West Bromwich Albion left-back Kieran Gibbs’ injury is not a bad one, according to Baggies manager Slaven Bilic (via the Express and Star).
The former Arsenal man sustained the injury just 20 minutes into West Brom’s fixture against Derby County last Saturday. Gibbs endured a tough time as he gave away a penalty just six minutes into the game.
Bilic seems to think that the Englishman will be out for just the game against Blackburn Rovers and not longer than that.
West Brom go into the game against the Lancashire side still unbeaten in the league after rescuing a late draw away to Derby County.
The Croatian manager gave his backing to Connor Townsend, who is expected to fill in for Gibbs during his layoff.
Townsend had a real lack of action last season as he featured in just 19 games in all competitions, including just 12 Championship games (via Transfermarkt). His attacking contributions in those 19 games prove a worry ahead of the game against Blackburn, as he assisted just two goals.
Meanwhile, Gibbs proved far more useful for West Brom in the Championship, scoring four and assisting a further four goals (via Transfermarkt).
The comparisons go far beyond just goals and assists between the two fullbacks, with Gibbs proving far stronger in defensive areas on the pitch. The 29-year-old has made more interceptions, committed fewer fouls, made more clearances and been dribbled past fewer times than Townsend (via WhoScored).
So far this season, Gibbs has formed a vital part of Bilic’s defence in the Championship. Gibbs has won the most interceptions for West Brom, showing his high-levels of concentration at left-back (via WhoScored).
Bilic will be hoping that Gibbs returns from injury sooner rather than later. The left-back has been a great player, both defensively and attacking-wise, and it’ll be a shame to lose him for longer than Bilic thinks he’ll be out for.
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