Tony Pulis' first signing as West Brom boss arrived with an impressive reputation from Wigan Athletic, but Callum McManaman just hasn't been able to tie down a regular spot in the Baggies line-up.
Despite starting just two Premier League games this season along with a handful of substitute appearances, McManaman has shown glimpses of his undoubted quality and promise during his limited time on the pitch.
Since being bought for £4.75 million in January, he has made ten appearances, but is yet to find the back of the net. However, Pulis' current reluctance to bring the winger off the bench to change the pattern of a game is more concerning.
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Losing 3-2 to Everton at home after surrendering a two-goal lead should certainly be a match that Pulis would opt to bring on the 24-year-old. Instead, he chose to introduce Rickie Lambert. Understandably, the latter is a striker, considered a target man to hold up the ball, but in terms of pace, trickery and taking on the opposition defenders, McManaman was undoubtedly the better option.
The former Everton academy graduate is widely remembered from the 2013 FA Cup final, where he produced a man of the match performance to lead Wigan to a 1–0 victory over Manchester City. He terrorised the Citizens defence at Wembley and a lot has been expected of him since, though, unfortunately, he has failed to convert that initial promise into consistent performances.
In the last two league games against Sunderland and Norwich, teammates James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon have been preferred to the form England U-20 international.
Despite his own patchy form, the controversial McClean has certainly improved and made a better start to life at the Hawthorns than his old Latics teammate.
He shares similar attributes to McManaman in terms of his pace and desire to run at the opposing full-back, but in recent weeks the Republic of Ireland international has shown he is ready to make the left wing position his own.
Sessegnon is another player who has reemerged recently. The Benin international has plenty of ability, but has struggled with consistency and fulfilling the potential he clearly possesses.
The 31-year-old has been at the club since 2011, but only made his first start of the season two weeks ago against former club Sunderland.
He was deservedly awarded man of the match for his performance against his previous employers and followed it up with another impressive outing against Norwich. The Baggies faithful will be hoping this is a sign of things to come from the 31-year-old.
McManaman is certainly a player deserving of more opportunities than are currently on offer and only by gaining more experience at West Brom will we see just what he is fully capable of.
WHAT DO YOU THINK BAGGIES FANS? WILL CALLUM MCMANAMAN EVENTUALLY FULFIL HIS POTENTIAL? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW.
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