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 expects Karlan Grant to be thrown straight into West Brom’s starting line-up for the clash against Burnley on Monday evening.
Albion return to Premier League action when they welcome Sean Dyche’s side to The Hawthorns early next week as both sides aim to get their seasons up and running by getting their first win of the league campaign.
Slaven Bilic faces a bit of a selection dilemma up front ahead of the match due to doubts surrounding Callum Robinson’s availability and Hal Robson-Kanu’s broken arm.
West Brom did sign Grant, 23, from Huddersfield on Thursday night but the ex-Terriers forward hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since last season and might be lacking match-sharpness.
Phillips, however, still feels that Grant is the best option the Baggies have and feels it wouldn’t make sense to not start him versus the Clarets.
“It always baffles me when clubs sign players and don’t play them straight away,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“I get it if a team is flying and they’ve come off the back of three or four wins but, at the minute, we need goals.
“For me, I’m not saying it’s a no-brainer, but why would you not?
“He’s an out-and-out striker. I know you’ve got Charlie Austin there but it doesn’t seem he’s Slaven Bilic’s first choice behind Hal Robson-Kanu and Callum Robinson.
“Let’s put it this way, even if he’s not fit, I’m sure he’s fit enough to give you a good hour. It would be crazy to not start him.
“He’ll be hungry to do well and I expect him to go straight into the team, definitely.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Robinson can play after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus on international duty with Ireland, but the ex-Sheffield United forward might also be lacking a bit of match fitness ahead of this game due to his period in self-isolation.
Grant is someone who we’re all eager to see play.
There’s no doubt that he’s been keeping himself fit throughout the summer and the early weeks of the new season, even though he hasn’t played for Huddersfield.
He has a massive opportunity to make his mark against Burnley if he does start but we’re not all too confident Bilic will opt for the ex-Terrier.
Just look at Conor Gallagher for example, who is yet to be used by Bilic in the Premier League.
In other West Brom news, this Baggies star is open to a move to MLS in January.