The Midfield

Romaine Sawyers, Jake Livermore, Rekeem Harper and Filip Krovinovic (CM)

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Bilic favoured a fluid 4-2-3-1 system during the first half of the season, which saw Livermore and Sawyers form an impressive partnership in a double pivot.

This remained unquestioned for almost half the season, much to the dismay of Krovinovic and Harper, who were benched throughout. But with the performances that Livermore and Sawyers put in, there was little room to question their lack of action.

Sawyers’ pinpoint passing provided a reliable link between the defence and attack. It is no surprise, then, that Sawyers holds the best pass completion rate across the entire division (91.2%).

Livermore also had an immense season, with his do-or-die performances week-in week-out often getting Albion over the line. This was no more evident in his relentless performance against QPR on the final day of the season.

An underrated Livermore moment this season came in the home game against Luton Town; Albion were 2-0 up, sitting comfortably. Despite this, Livermore ran from the halfway line to close down Luton’s left-back in his own half. Commitment. Passion. Livermore gave it his all this season.

As Albion stuttered through the Christmas period, though, it was clear something had to change. This is when Bilic decided to tweak his preferred 4-2-3-1 system into a 4-3-3. Pushing Pereira out wide, this allowed Krovinovic to sit in a midfield three, in front of Livermore and Sawyers.

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This allowed the Croatian to show his worth, scoring three goals and setting up four more from this position. It also helped Livermore get forward too, though Sawyers did sometimes struggle as a make-do defensive playmaker.

Harper was given his chances and made 10 league appearances in total. He looked bright on occasions, and it is clear the is talent there. However, he has a long way to go before he makes his way into the starting eleven and would perhaps benefit from a loan move next season.

Ratings: Harper 5/10, Krovinovic 7/10, Sawyers 7.5/10, Livermore 9/10