Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley & Ahmed Hegazi (CB)Embed from Getty Images
As with the right-back position, there was lots of rotation between the three centre-backs this season.
Semi Ajayi was initially expected to mostly serve as a backup or a squad player; however, a pre-season injury sustained by Ahmed Hegazi meant that the initial centre-back pairing was Ajayi and Kyle Bartley and, boy, they did not disappoint.
They were the partnership that helped Albion go on a 14-game unbeaten run and, across the course of the season, the Baggies lost only once when these two started.
Bartley still committed the odd mistake, as seen away at Reading, and surely should have done better for Blackburn’s equaliser at Ewood Park.
Yet, with the hustle and bustle of the Championship, rotation is key; so, when Hegazi was called upon, he rarely disappointed.Embed from Getty Images
His initial return to the side was a little shaky. It was, after all, his mistake which led to the goal in Albion’s 0-1 home loss against Stoke.
In the return of football post-lockdown, however, Hegazi was utterly fantastic. He marshalled a defence that restricted Derby to zero shots on target in the 2-0 home victory; he also pocketed the league’s top scorer, Aleksandar Mitrovic, in the 0-0 draw with Fulham. Without such performances, Albion’s automatic promotion push would have been even more difficult.
Crucially, though, all three center-backs, on the whole, performed incredibly well across the course of the entire season, especially when it mattered most.
Ratings: Bartley 7.5/10, Hegazi 7.5/10, Ajayi 8.5/10