A club headshot image of Erik Pieters

Erik provided defensive balance and experience when he joined the Baggies in September 2022.

Most of the defender's 36 appearances during his maiden season in the Black Country came under Carlos Corberán, who opted to play the left-back in a more central role. 

Pieters has added balance to the left side of defence and was a vital part of the Albion backline during the 2022/23 campaign, helping them keep 14 clean sheets during his regular involvement in the XI. The games he played during his first season in the Black Country meant he surpassed 300 appearances in English football.

Born in Tiel, Netherlands, Erik's footballing journey began in his native lands as he progressed through trials at VV Rhelico during his early years prior to earning an academy deal at FC Utrecht. 

Pieters made his professional debut as an 18-year-old during a 2-1 defeat v Willem II in August 2006. Eyes from the national side din't ignore the Utrecht academy product's solid first two seasons in the game and having represented the Netherlands at U17, U19 and U20s level, the defender made his bow for the U21s in a friendly against Russia in February 2007. 

Having established himself as an important member of his country's 21s team, Erik lifted silverware in the 2007 Euros - helping his nation defeat England on penalties in the last four before beating Serbia 4-1 in the final. 

Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven took great interest in Pieters' progress at club level and on the International stage, and that interest eventually compelled them to secure his services in July 2008. During just under five years at one his country's biggest teams, Erik racked up close to 150 games in the colours of PSV; playing in major European tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League and Europa League for the first time, making his senior debut for the Netherlands v Ukraine in August 2010, as well as winning three honours (two Dutch Super Cups, and one Dutch Cup).

But playing in England had always been a childhood dream of Erik's, something which had stemmed from watching his heroes on Match of the Day. The dream was made a reality in June 2013 when he left his native roots for the first time to join Stoke City in the Premier League. Five successful campaigns in the top flight came to an end following the Potters' relegation to the Championship in 2018, but Pieters was pivotal in helping the Staffordshire-based team secure three consecutive ninth-placed finishes between 2013-2016 - their highest position since the Premier League was introduced.

His first goal in English football was a decisive one when he helped Stoke to a 1-0 home win over Newcastle in April 2014.

The defender spent the opening stages of the 2018/19 term with Stoke during their first term back in England's second tier, before spending the second half of the season on loan at Ligue 1 side Amiens SC in France. Pieters secured a move back to the top flight with Burnley in July 2019 having amassed more than 200 appearances during his time at the bet365 Stadium. 

The Clarets and Pieters suffered the same fate as Stoke when they were relegated following the conclusion of the 2021/22 season. Erik stepped out 66 times for the Lancashire side prior to his release that summer, which then led him to start a new chapter at The Hawthorns with the Albion.

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