Position: Central Midfielder
Age: 23 *
At Club Since: Summer 2018
Total Club League Appearances (Goals): 28(4) *
This season has been a big leap forward for Zain Westbrooke, who spent most of his first year at the club as part of the under-23 squad with Tom Bayliss and Jordan Shipley blocking his path to the first-team. Although Bayliss was sold over the summer, competition for a starting place in central midfield has remained intense. Starting with a goal on the opening day of the season, Westbrooke has kept himself at least in the conversation for the starting XI with regular key contributions.
Having never had a run of starts at first-team level at any club he’s been at, what has been most impressive about Westbrooke this season is how seamless that transition from bit-part to regular has been. Just what kind of midfielder Westbrooke isn’t quite clear yet, with his short passing, intelligent movement and set-piece delivery his strongest attributes, he has the ability to influence games from both a deep and advanced position. That flexibility has made him useful for Mark Robins in being able to fit into the various systems we’ve played this season. Having made himself a useful cog in the first-team, the challenge soon enough for Westbrooke will be in taking that next step and starting to dominate games at this level.
*As of 18/01/2020