Long serving West Brom man set for summer transfer exit as deal ‘already done’

West Brom and one of their most long-serving players could be about to part ways next summer.

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Taylor Gardner-Hickman's 14-year association with West Brom could be coming to an end, after he joined Bristol City on a season-long loan on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old was allowed to depart The Hawthorn's for the Baggies' Championship rivals, to help towards freeing up funds to afford Carlos Corberan new signings. Gardner-Hickman had made two substitute appearances this season and recently came off the bench in the 1-1 draw with Leeds United on Friday night.

His move to Bristol City however took place quickly, as Nigel Pearson revealed on Saturday that they had been in the market for a right-back, after their summer signing Ross McCrorie was ruled out indefinitely.

Gardner-Hickman fit the bill, as he was capable of not only providing cover at right-back, but is also able to play as a central attacking midfielder, which is neat for them given Alex Scott's £25m departure to AFC Bournemouth this summer.

Bristol City are opting to keep hold of their £25m, and Gardner-Hickman is likely to represent their final piece of business this window, and now it has emerged that should all go to plan, his loan could be turned into a permanent deal in a straight-forward process if his loan turns out to be a success.

“The clauses have all been agreed so if we decide to take that option up then it’s already done,” Pearson said to sister website BristolWorld when asked about the option-to-buy clause which was added into the loan deal.

“I think that gives him something to aim for as well," added his new boss for the season.

Gardner-Hickman will have a desire to perform at his new club, as they are likely to give him a more prominent role than what he has played under recently, but it could mean an end to his long affiliation to the club next summer.

He joined the academy from the age of seven-years-old and is a supporter of the club, and so with the potential of departing his boyhood club, it could be a sad day for all involved given the desire to succeed at a club he's given so many years to.