Pepe Mel: 'Craig Dawson crucial to West Bromwich Albion's future'

Mel: 'Dawson is our future'
© Getty Images
Pepe Mel says that Craig Dawson is "the future" at West Bromwich Albion.

Pepe Mel has revealed that Craig Dawson has a crucial part to play in West Bromwich Albion's future.

Dawson had been close to a loan exit from the club, with Wigan Athletic favourites for his signature.

However, Mel has decided to keep the defender at The Hawthorns and an injury to Jonas Olsson means that he will start against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"Dawson, for me, is the future at West Brom. He is a very good, strong centre-back and his mentality is very good," Mel told The Mirror.

"He wants to play matches. But now I think it is better here because in London we need Dawson to play. Dawson is in the XI in London - he is ready."

Dawson joined the Baggies in 2010 but has struggled to break into the first team.

New West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel faces the media before the press conference to announce his arrival, at The Hawthorns on January 16, 2014
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