West Brom are ‘ready to sell’ Taylor Gardner-Hickman to Bristol City, claims journalist Darren Witcoop.
Reports emerged this morning revealing that Bristol City had held talks with West Brom over a potential loan deal for the 21-year-old Gardner-Hickman.
Robins boss Nigel Pearson wants to add defensive and midfield cover before September 1st and Gardner-Hickman ticks both boxes.
And now Witcoop has posted on Twitter claiming that West Brom are ready to sell academy product Gardner-Hickman to Bristol City, and that the Baggies are also keen to sell Grady Diangana and Nathaniel Chalobah.
Gardner-Hickman has been part of the West Brom set up since 2009. He made his first-team debut in the 2021/22 season and he’s since racked up 52 Championship appearances for the club, including two in this campaign so far.
So far this summer, West Brom have sold Dara O’Shea to Burnley, and David Button to Reading on a free transfer, with the Baggies having been in desperate need of funding.
Gardner-Hickman, Chalobah, and Diangana and three important and useful player for Carlos Corberan, who’s been dealt a very tough hand this summer.
He’s been very limited in the transfer market and it seems like all of his players are up for sale, with the likelihood of some West Brom player exits before September 1st seemingly growing.
Gardner-Hickman’s sale though seems like a very needless one. The club could offload one of Chalobah or Diangana for a likely higher amount, and Gardner-Hickman is a more versatile player than Chalobah or Diangana too, and an academy product as well.
It’s a tough time for West Brom, but Bristol City and indeed many other clubs could yet find themsleves a bargain in the Baggies sale.
Taylor Gardner-Hickman’s first words after completing transfer to Bristol City from West Brom
Bristol City have made England Under-20 international Taylor Gardner-Hickman their fifth signing of the summer window. Taylor Gardner-Hickman has joined Bristol City on loan with an option to buy (Rogan Thomson/Bristol City FC)
Bristol City have completed the loan signing of Taylor Gardner-Hickman from West Brom, with the Robins having the option of making the deal permanent at the end of the season for a fee understood to be £1.3million.
Gardner-Hickman underwent a medical at the High Performance Centre on Tuesday, will join his new teammates in training on Wednesday, and should be in contention to make his debut at Hull City on Friday night having made three appearances for the Baggies in 2023/24.
The 21-year-old has struggled to win a consistent first-team spot under Carlos Corberan and has been rotated between right-back, right wing-back and attacking midfield during his time at the Hawthorns.
Given City’s needs in all three of those positions, it will be interesting to see how Nigel Pearson uses the England Under-20 international having hinted at the prospect of a loan signing to cover at right-back in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Birmingham City.
Gardner-Hickman also becomes Pearson’s first loan signing in the five transfer windows he has operated in since become City manager in 2021.
“Bristol City is a great club with a great manager and great fans,” said Gardner-Hickman, who will wear the No22 shirt. “Every time I’ve been here I’ve been speechless with the atmosphere, the ground and the city which is why I want to represent Bristol City and give everything I can.
“I’m a hard-working player and very determined as well. I like to get stuck in and create chances as well so hopefully I can replicate that here.
“As a team I don’t think we have any limitations because you look at the type of club Bristol City is, the fans they have and the players here show aspirations of getting promoted. We should all believe and believe in that fight.”
George Tanner is his only senior player in that position, while the attacking midfield role has been reduced by the sale of Alex Scott to Bournemouth with Andi Weimann, Jason Knight and Ayman Benarous, once he’s fully recovered from back-to-back ACL injuries, his options there.
Gardner-Hickman, who is under contract at the Hawthorns until 2026, has been at West Brom since the age of seven and made his debut under Valerien Ismael in August 2021. He’s made 59 senior appearances, with 32 as a starter, over the last two seasons.
City are also expected to complete the signing of Irish midfielder Adam Murphy from St Patrick’s Athletic before the end of the week after the 18-year-old declared his intentions to move to England.