Wanderers have secured their sixth signing of the summer transfer window with a season-long loan deal for West Bromwich Albion defender Zac Ashworth.
The Whites also have the option to make the signing permanent during the duration of the loan as they continue to strengthen ahead of the 2023/24 season.
Ashworth progressed through the Albion academy from the age of six to become a professional at the Hawthorns and make a senior debut for the Baggies in January, 2022.
The aggressive left-sided defender featured for Albion in the Championship, FA Cup and League Cup – as well as helping the club’s U21 side win the 2022 Premier League Cup – before joining Burton Albion on loan in January of this year.
Ashworth – who has been capped at U21 level by Wales – made 18 appearances in League One for the Brewers as he played a key role in helping Burton climb away from 23rd place when he joined to secure a 15th-place finish.
His 16 starts included one against Wanderers when the sides drew 1-1 at the Pirelli Stadium in April and his arrival adds to the defensive options and depth in Ian Evatt’s squad following the injury to George Johnston which will keep him out for the season.
“We are working hard to strengthen the squad and Zac is another excellent addition,” said Wanderers’ boss Evatt.
“Unfortunately losing George, we needed to bring in someone capable of playing that role – and potentially others on the left side – and Zac fits the bill.
“He is a quality, young player who has played in the Championship and last season gained valuable experience in League One as an important part of Burton’s team.
“He is here initially on loan but that could become permanent which would keep him with us long-term and give us another talented young player I’m looking forward to working with.”
Ashworth – the son of current Newcastle United Sporting Director and former FA Director of Elite Development Dan Ashworth – trained with Wanderers for the first time on Thursday ahead of the Whites’ final three pre-season games.
His arrival follows the summer signings of Dan Nlundulu, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Will Forrester, Nathan Baxter and Joel Coleman and is likely to be followed by more as Wanderers look to remain pro-active in the transfer market ahead of the new League One season.