#3 Romaine Sawyers

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I would argue that Bilic used the 2019/20 campaign as a transitional season for summer signing Romaine Sawyers, with preparation for the Premier League firmly in mind.

The former Brentford play-maker featured in a more attacking position during his time in West London, though under Bilic, Sawyers was stationed in a much deeper role where he can dictate the play.

He would often sit in his own half, collect the ball off the two centre-backs and get things moving. Sawyers’ talent is clear for everyone to see; he finished the season with the best pass completion rate in the division (90%).

It is unlikely this will change as Albion move into the Premier League and with one season in this role now under his belt, Sawyers’ true potential could be unleashed.

Indeed, in a more open Premier League, Sawyers’ excellent reading of the game could be the catalyst to Albion’s success against more mid-table opposition. And against even stronger opposition where Albion may look to threaten on the break, Sawyers’ pinpoint passing accuracy may be the key to success.

Should he continue to grow into his new role, the Premier League could become his oyster. After all, Bilic has worked with top midfielders before in Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric and Dimitri Payet — why shouldn’t we trust him?


#4 Semi Ajayi

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Semi Ajayi’s career had a bit of a rocky start. After stints at Charlton, Arsenal and Cardiff City, he settled in League One with loan spells at AFC Wimbledon and Crewe Alexandra.

He then earned a move to promotion pushers Rotherham United and went on to make 81 appearances for the Millers, scoring 11 goals from defence.

After Rotherham were promoted to the Championship, Ajayi had a mighty season for the Millers, earning him his move to the Hawthorns.

He impressed at the Hawthorns all season with his commanding displays at the back; he also impressed in the FA cup fixture against West Ham.

And everybody knows that the Premier League is the fastest league in the world — if this doesn’t play into Ajayi’s hands, nothing will. His power and athleticism will ensure he is not left for dead by pacey forwards.

He’s gone from League One to the Premier League in three years and he’s been a success everywhere he’s been. This should be no different.