'He hasn't got that' - Exclusive: Phillips suggests West Brom loanee isn't cut out for PL
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 is “very surprised” that things did not work out for Kenneth Zohore at West Brom after he was loaned out to Millwall last week.
Zohore, 26, joined the Baggies in a deal worth £8million from Cardiff City last summer to make him their most expensive purchase during their two-year stint in the Championship.
However, the Dane barely featured for Slaven Bilic last term as he started just five times in the league as Albion won promotion to the Premier League.
On deadline day last Friday, Zohore joined Millwall on loan until the end of the season and made his debut for the London club on Tuesday night when he came off the bench for the final 10 minutes of a 2-0 win over Luton at The Den.
Phillips believes that the loan move will be beneficial for Zohore but the ex-West Brom striker claims that the 26-year-old doesn’t have quite what it takes to be a Premier League forward.
“I’m surprised it didn’t work out at West Brom. He’s a player who was on our radar when I was at Derby and Stoke. He’s a big, powerful centre-forward who can hold it up, puts himself about and get on the end of crosses,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“Has he been given a fair crack of the whip? I suppose that’s debatable. Sometimes a player of that calibre needs a run of games to really get it.
“I’m very surprised because of that power and his physique. But let’s not forget, you’re coming up and playing against top defenders. Sometimes you need a little bit more than that – and he hasn’t got that. Maybe that step up was too much.
“But a move away, where he can play week-in, week-out might do him the world of good.”
Bilic hadn’t named Zohore in any of his last 13 matchday squads across all competitions for West Brom so it was clear that the former Cardiff man had no future at The Hawthorns.
It remains to be seen how we’ll perform at The Den but Millwall’s style of play is likely to compliment a tall, powerful striker like Zohore better than West Brom’s.
As Zohore’s only joined Millwall on loan, he could do well there and return to the Black Country next season as someone who could play in the first-team.
It seems a long-shot at the moment but let’s not rule anything out because Zohore’s only 26. He has a couple more years in him before he reaches his peak.
In other West Brom news, Bilic has left this senior attacker out of his 25-man Premier League squad.