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 admits that Matt Phillips has become a victim of the success of some of his team-mates this season but wants to see West Brom keep the 29-year-old if they win promotion.
Former QPR winger Phillips has been ever-present for the Baggies since joining the club in July 2016 but failed to start any of the club’s seven Championship fixtures ahead of the season being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
West Brom have since been linked with a move to sign right-winger Bright Osayi-Samuel from QPR.
Osayi-Samuel, 22, has been in fantastic form at Loftus Road this term, scoring six goals and supplying eight assists in 32 appearances across all competitions and the Express & Star have reported that the Nigerian winger could be on the Baggies’ shortlist of targets for whether they win promotion to the Premier League or stay in the Championship.
Osayi-Samuel can play on the left-wing but has featured predominantly on the right-hand side of the attack for QPR this season.
Even though former Albion striker Phillips rates Osayi-Samuel, he would rather see his old club keep Matt Phillips rather than sign a replacement so they can spend money on strengthening other areas of the squad.
“I like Matty Phillips, he’s a good player,” Kevin Phillips told West Brom News.
“Unfortunately, this season, players have performed better than him and that’s just the way it is. Sometimes that happens in football.
“When you go up, you’re going to want to bring players in who affect the squad and make you better and Osayi-Samuel certainly looks like a player who can do that, then you have Phillips who has that experience.
“I’d be more inclined to keep Matty instead of somebody else and look to strengthen in the areas that you really need to.”
Matt Phillips may have been dropped by Slaven Bilic in the build-up to the suspension of the Championship season but he has still performed well for West Brom this term.
He has made 35 appearances in all competitions, scored eight goals and supplied five assists.
The Scotland international was one of West Brom’s best players against Newcastle in the FA Cup back in March, which proved that he still has what it takes to perform against Premier League sides.
Phillips should still have a future at The Hawthorns but Matheus Pereira has been on another level this season and Bilic’s change in formation in February has, unfortunately, led to Phillips losing his spot in the starting line-up.
In other West Brom news, Albion are to be handed a potentially huge boost in their bid to sign Matheus Pereira permanently.