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West Bromwich Albion could be lining up a move to sign Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson in an attempt to replace Manchester United-bound Jonny Evans. Several clubs targeted Evans over the summer but the Baggies could risk losing him to his former club. Considering how important he has been for West Brom, it would be quite a task to find a replacement for him.
However, Gibson is understood to have attracted their attention after his stellar displays for the Championship outfit. He has a little over a year left on his current deal and has refused to sign a new contract, which could mean he is nearing an exit.
Gibson has been quite influential for Middlesbrough and he even earned a call-up to the England squad this year. He recently signed a new five-year contract at the club, which could potentially make it tough for West Brom to sign him.
However, considering the fact that Boro are almost out of contention for securing a top-flight promotion, it may not be a bad idea for the 24-year-old to consider joining the Premier League side. It would be a good move for him to pick some valuable experience.
The Baggies are not in the best of shape right now. A slew of disappointing performances saw Tony Pulis get sacked and although they have appointed Alan Pardew as the new manager, it will be an uphill task for him to haul them out of the dreaded relegation zone.
Right now, they are at 18th place in the points table and are 2 points ahead of bottom-placed Swansea City. If they are to preserve their Premier League status though, they will need to bring about some major changes in their performances.
To do that, tightening up the defence will be a crucial step and Gibson does seem like a good replacement if Evans were to leave. United are in dire need of bringing in a quality central defender with Premier League experience and seem keen on procuring their former player. Hence, since the Baggies cannot afford to let him leave without a replacement. They are likely to go all out to land Gibson.
At 24 years of age, he is in his prime and is capable of delivering top football for a good number of years to come. A stable presence at the back could help West Brom in their tough climb out of the relegation zone and they will need it at all costs this time.