Departed Matt Upson has hailed Lewis Dunk as the future of Albion's defence.

The Leicester-bound former England centre-half believes Dunk has the credentials to eventually play in the Premier League too.

The consistency of player of the season Upson in partnership with skipper Gordon Greer restricted Dunk to 11 appearances, including eight starts.

The 22-year-old became next-in-line in January when long-serving Adam El-Abd moved to Bristol City, where Dunk had a spell on loan earlier in the campaign.

Dunk deputised for the injured Upson in the 4-1 defeat in the second leg of the play-offs against Derby County.

Although his opportunities were limited, Upson says it was another step forward in his footballing education.

The veteran stopper, who has signed for Leicester in a one-year deal, told The Argus: "I think he can take a lot from it. When he steps in he does exceptionally well. Without any doubt he is the future of the club.

"He really impresses me with the ball. His range of passing and execution of passing is first class.

"He's got some things to work on, as every young player has at that age and I had at that age.

"It's just a case of him playing games, getting that experience and learning about himself and what he needs to do, analysing his game and setting himself some goals to get better in the areas that are going to make him a Premier League standard player, which he is capable of being."