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 believes it would be a “huge risk” for West Brom to pursue Lawrence Shankland after the Baggies were linked with the Dundee United striker.

Shankland, 25, scored 28 goals in 33 appearances across all competitions last season to fire his side to the Scottish Championship title and promotion to the top-flight.

Sky Sports News said earlier this week that there had been talk the Baggies had tabled a bid for the former Ayr centre-forward. However, Dundee United manager Micky Mellon has since dismissed that speculation.

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If Albion are in the hunt to sign a player like Shankland then it would be a big roll of the dice, according to Phillips.

However, the ex-West Brom striker says that if a deal does get done for the Scotland international, he would rather see him loaned out to the Championship so he can prove his worth there.

“For me, it’s a risk,” Phillips told West Brom News. “It’s a lot of to put on someone that’s only played regularly in the Scottish second-tier. Yes, he’s scored a lot of goals – but try and do that in the Premier League.

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“I know for a fact that West Brom aren’t going to create the number of chances they did in the Championship so you’re going to get limited chances to score.

“It is a risk but you never know. If you get someone at the right price, they could come in and maybe go out on loan somewhere and play for a year in the Championship. Then, you might have a player on your hands.

“To ask him to go from the Scottish second-tier to the Premier League is a huge risk.”

Shankland was on fire last season but there is a major gulf between the Scottish Championship and the Premier League – even the most hardened defenders of Scottish football will admit that.

West Brom need a new striker this summer in order to spearhead their attack in the Premier League and we would rather see Slaven Bilic bring someone in who is proven in the English top-flight.

In other West Brom news, Atletico Madrid are set to sign one of Bilic’s targets.

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