Roberto De Zerbi believes he might have found the right role for Carlos Baleba as he settles into Premier League life.

The former Lille man made his fifth Premier League start, and his second in succession, as Albion beat Brentford.

But the difference was where he operated – in a deeper role which saw him between the centre-backs at times.

De Zerbi felt it worked as he assessed the 2-1 success over the Bees The Albion boss said: “I love changing the positions of the players, depending on their characteristics.

“I don’t want a player in different position to his characteristics.

“He is not ready yet to play as Billy Gilmour.

“For Baleba now, it is easier playing in front of the opponent, not in the middle.

“Now he is not so good in the position, the body shape.

“Pascal (Gross) can play as a full-back but is better if he goes between the lines. He can attack the space.

“(Kaoru) Mitoma is better wider, as a winger.

“In one-to-one he is one of the best wingers in the Premier League.

“And Jack Hinshelwood works like Pascal Gross.

“They started in full-back positions but in development they went between the lines with Facundo Buonanotte.”

De Zerbi believes versatility and adaptability are key to the modern-day elite footballer.

They are certainly valuable traits to get into a De Zerbi team.

Hinshelwood clearly fits that bill. On the face of it, he is a central midfielder or No.10 playing out of position at full-back.

In practice, the full-back these days drifts infield and charges forward.

Asked about Hinshelwood’s role, De Zerbi said: “His best position I think is midfielder but he can play right-back, full-back.

“Now in this moment of football, players have to be ready to play in different positions.

“They have to understand different demands, different characteristics in that position.

“Jack played another great game. He deserves to play now because he played like an older player.

“I said in the press conference that Jack is Pascal Gross’s son because he is very young but he plays like an older player.

“He has personality. He is very smart on the pitch.”

Hinshelwood has seized his chance amid injuries and that is exactly what De Zerbi want to see.

He said: “Last week I told you we had to transform the problems into opportunities.

“I think we are playing very, very well without a lot of players – important players.

“Today we played without ten players, ten important players.

“But we are keeping the same level as last season.”