PEPE Mel has revealed Craig Dawson will make a rare start against Crystal Palace on Saturday (ko 3pm).
The Baggies centre-half has been restricted to just four first-team starts this term – the 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at Tottenham being the highlight, while the others came in the cups.
And he has recently been the subject of media speculation suggesting he could go out on loan to the Championship.
But Mel, who will be without the injured Jonas Olsson (hamstring), has given the former Rochdale man a ringing endorsement ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.
“Dawson is the future for West Brom," he said.
“He is a very good centre-back, he is strong, his mentality is very good, and he wants to play matches, which is normal.
“Now I think it is better he is here because, for example, we need Dawson in the XI in London.
“He is ready and wants to play - and this is a test for him.”