One to Watch - Chris Brunt
Baggies midfielder Chris Brunt is the One to Watch for our visit to the Hawthorns.
Name: Christopher Brunt
Date of Birth: 14 Dec 1984 (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Former Clubs: Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday.
Appearances (Goals): 246 (43)
The midfielder started playing football for St. Andrews youth team. Chris impressed at St. Andrews earning himself trials at Manchester United and Middlesbrough with the latter being successful. In 2002, he signed for Middlesbrough at the tender age of 17. However, Chris failed to break into the first team and in March 2004 was shipped out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday.
The young midfielder won over both the Owls manager and fans by scoring 2 goals in his 9 appearances at the club. This led to Chris signing a two year contract with the League one side in the summer of 2004. Brunt made 45 league appearances (17 of which were off the bench) and scored 5 goals helping the Owls seal promotion to the Championship. With just one year left on his contract, Brunt agreed to a one year extension.
In his first season in the championship, Chris remained an integral part of the first team starting 35 games and coming off the bench a further 9 times. Chris scored 7 goals to help the newly promoted side survive life in the Championship. His 7 goals also made him the top scorer for the Owls for the 2005-06 season.
With expectations raised for the following season, Brunt did not fail to deliver scoring 10 goals in 44 league appearances, including the opener at Loftus road in a 1-1 draw. His brilliant performances on the pitch helped take the Owls into the top 10. However at the end of the season, Chris and Sheffield Wednesday failed to agree on terms for a new contract leading to interest from several Championship and Premiership clubs.
On the 15 Aug 07, Brunt had signed a four year deal with West Bromwich Albion for a fee of £3,000,000. The midfielder made 26 starts scoring his first Baggies goal against Scunthorpe. Chris scored a late goal against Southampton helping the Baggies to the brink of promotion to the premiership. Chris scored again in the following game against the Superhoops, giving him his second career promotion.
Life in the premiership did not start out well with Chris finding it difficult to break into the first team. However, he made his presence felt in the second half of the season scoring 8 goals and his first ever international goal. He finished as the top scorer for the Baggies and his performances got him the player of the year award for WBA. Unfortunately, that was not enough to save West Brom from relegation.
The midfielder signed a new 3 year deal this summer and hopes to help the Baggies get back to the premiership. In his 15 appearances, he has already scored 6 goals, including a brace against Middlesbrough and has always looked a threat in the Baggies midfield.
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