'Don't make that decision yourself' - Exclusive: Phillips offers advice to Robson-Kanu
We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips has advised Hal Robson-Kanu to stay at West Brom as long as possible, even if he loses his place if the club wins promotion to the Premier League.
Robson-Kanu, 30, has been the Baggies’ unlikely hero this season.
No one would have guessed in the summer, when proven Championship goalscorer Charlie Austin came in and £8million was spent on Kenneth Zohore, that Robson-Kanu would be the first-choice striker for Slaven Bilic.
In fact, when the Welshman’s contract was extended in October, there were plenty of supporters who voiced their discontent on social media.
However in the nine games after putting pen to paper on a new deal, Robson-Kanu scored six goals and established himself as Slaven Bilic’s number one choice up front.
Even though the goals have dried up since then, Robson-Kanu’s ability to link up with the Baggies’ attacking midfielders has proven to be vital in recent weeks.
Before the coronavirus pandemic ground football to a halt earlier this month, West Brom were second in the Championship and well on course for automatic promotion to the Premier League.
But as Robson-Kanu failed to impress during his time in the top-flight at The Hawthorns, there could be doubt surrounding his future and whether Bilic will look to replace a goal-shy forward who turns 31 in May.
Ex-West Brom forward Phillips has suggested that it’s likely Robson-Kanu will lose his place but he shouldn’t look to quit until he is told that he is surplus to requirements a The Hawthorns.
“My advice would be to stay at the highest level you possibly could,” Phillips told West Brom News when asked if Robson-Kanu might want to leave The Hawthorns if Albion go up.
“It perhaps hasn’t worked out before but he’s now got a bit more experience under his belt and I think his game has come on. He’d be going in with a side he’s comfortable playing in, he likes the way they play football and he’s got a manager that likes him.
“Whether the manager gets someone in to replace him, who knows? But if I was Hal, I would be looking to try and stay at the football club and try to get into the Premier League.
“I certainly wouldn’t recommend any player to leave because, although you think you might not get a chance, you should always fight with whoever’s brought in and compete with them. And then if it doesn’t happen, it’s always easier to go out on loan if the manager says ‘you’re not in my plans’.
“But don’t make that decision yourself, for sure.”
In other West Brom news, Callum Robinson has reacted after being knocked out of a FIFA20 tournament by Ajax.