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 one of Charlie Austin and Hal Robson-Kanu could look to quit West Brom in the January transfer window if Slaven Bilic signs Martin Braithwaite from Barcelona.
Spanish news outlet Sport reported last week that the 29-year-old striker is on West Brom’s radar ahead of the winter window and Barca are willing to either sell or loan out the Danish international, who they value at around £13million.
Bilic already has four strikers to choose from in his current squad with Karlan Grant, Callum Robinson, Austin and Robson-Kanu at his disposal while Kenneth Zohore is currently on loan at Millwall until January.
And with Braithwaite reportedly a target for Bilic and Luke Dowling, Phillips believes that the Baggies will have to get rid of one of their existing forwards so that position isn’t over-stocked.
Speaking exclusively to West Brom News, Phillips said: “It will add to the competition for the other lads who are there: Austin, Robson-Kanu and Grant.
“If Bilic brings another striker in, I would assume one of Austin or Robson-Kanu would look to move on. If it’s not a loan then probably permanently.”
It would not be a big shock if Austin quits West Brom in January.
The 31-year-old hasn’t played a single minute of Premier League football this season and hasn’t made any of Bilic’s last eight matchday squads in the league.
Last month, The Sun reported that Austin has been attracting attention from MLS clubs so the Baggies may try and get the ex-Southampton striker off their wage bill when January comes around.
As for Robson-Kanu, we don’t think Bilic will want to get rid of the forward although the fact Wales are set to play in the European Championships next summer means he might be desperate for game-time to prove his worth to Ryan Giggs.
Robson-Kanu is above Austin in Bilic’s pecking order with the ex-Reading man coming off the bench at Old Trafford on Sunday to play for the first time since breaking his arm against Southampton almost two months ago.
If we had to choose between Austin and Robson-Kanu, we would choose the Welshman every day of the week.