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West Brom’s Jake Livermore enjoying a bright start to life at the Hawthorns

Saturday 18th February 2017
West Bromwich Albion midfielder Jake Livermore turned in a good performance in last week's 2-2 draw with West Ham United, and is repaying manager Tony Pulis' faith in him with a bright start to life in the Midlands.

The former Tottenham Hotspur man made the £10M move from Hull City to West Brom at the end of the January transfer window and has quickly slotted into the side to look a good piece of business from the Baggies - he was one of Albion's best players on his full debut too.
Livermore has made three appearances for the Premier League overachievers, starting the last two games, and has helped the side to seven points from a possible nine. He's provided added steel and a calmness in possession to ensure the battle isn't being lost in the middle of the park. And from his humbling experience at Hull City, the Englishman has the underdog mentality to not be too proud to sacrifice parts of his game to nullify the opposition.

The 27-year-old has averaged a tackle or interception every 12 minutes in a West Bromwich Albion shirt, making just two fouls. Livermore has epitomised the resilience and courage to play under Tony Pulis, having blocked three shots and making 10 clearances, and has the ability to turn defence into attack with his pin-point long-range passing. For £10M, West Brom were criticised for overpaying for Livermore, but his form suggests otherwise early on.

Having a player who will perfectly adhere to instructions and improve the side is key, and Livermore fits the bill perfectly. Albion loaned out Craig Gardner to Birmingham City this season so they have somewhat of a void to fill given the lack of options in the deep-lying midfield roles outside of Darren Fletcher and Claudio Yacob. Livermore is also versatile, having played centre-back, defensive-midfield and a more advanced role at Hull City this season so he can be effective in a host of positions.

His manager has also tipped Livermore for a potential return to the England squad if he can continue his fine form for the Baggies. Boasting aerial prowess, being physically intimidating, and having a reputation as a tough-tackler at times, it's not hard to see why Pulis was so keen to sign the energetic Livermore. Albion had to fight off interest from a host of other Premier League sides to sign their man, and he was given glowing reviews from fellow professionals which clinched it for the West Brom manager.

Claudio Yacob was an ever-present for the Baggies before succumbing to appendicitis, but he faces a tough task to get back into the side given how well his replacement has fared in his stead. “He's going to be a good player for this club, he's got lots of energy, lots of good attributes,” said Pulis of Livermore. The midfielder citied his new manager as a reason for the move to Albion, and it's clear the two are on the same wavelength of what is expected on the pitch.
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.


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