Paul Dummett is a player who divides fan opinion. He certainly isn’t the most gifted player we have but after a solid season, has he improved or is the Championship just his level?
Since breaking into the team after a loan spell with St.Mirren earlier in his career, Dummett has pretty much made the left back role his own ever since. The signing of Lazaar last summer was perhaps meant to usurp him from the role moving forward but he has rose the occasion and has made more appearances than any other player under Rafa. He is a solid defender, can play centre half if needed and has a great attitude.
Frustrations with Dummett come with his inability to go forward, which is a key part of a modern full back. He always needs a few touches to control the ball and rarely gets to the by-line. He also has a tendency to misjudge cross field balls which has cost us a few times and allows an attacker to get in behind; Nottingham Forest away this year being a prime example.
At 25, it is debatable if these weaknesses in his game will radically change.
Should he have been in the Championship team of the year?
Dummett arrived in the Championship off the back off a poor season during our relegation. He was no worse than many other mind, in what was a feeble squad effort until Rafa arrived. Malone of Fulham was voted as the best left back in the league at the PFA Awards evening. Dummett has had a good season and having made more tackles, interceptions, aerial challenges and pass completion rates than anyone else in his position, can feel hard done by at not getting more recognition.
Cut out for the Premiership?
Dummett is one of a few of our players who have proved they can do a job at the highest level. Of course, if we want to progress beyond a relegation scrap next year we need a better left back than Dummett and I expect Rafa to address this in the summer.
He has proved able to do a job if needed though and ideally, he would be a reliable squad player next year who can come into a few different positions. To really thrive in the top flight I just feel he lacks the tools going forward, this season he has had plenty of time to cross the ball from deep and when given time, he has a quality delivery. However, you aren’t afforded this time in the Premiership and this is where the weaker elements of his game do get exposed.
What role can he play moving forward?
Ideally we will sign a left back this summer who will have the impact Lazaar should have had this year. Dummett has never been pushed for this place and we badly need more quality to compete next year.
He is certainly worth keeping hold of though as a squad option though and like Lascelles, may lack the quality at the highest level but is a good character to have in the squad. It was a lack of those that led to our downfall last year.