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 wants to see West Brom add to their striker options in the January transfer window amid speculation linking Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite to The Hawthorns.
According to a report by Spanish news outlet Sport last week, West Brom, Leeds and West Ham have all made contact with Barcelona to assess the 29-year-old forward’s availability ahead of the transfer window re-opening in just over a month’s time.
Sport adds that although Braithwaite wants to remain at the Nou Camp, Barca would like to sell him or loan him out in January in a bid to reduce their wage bill.
And ex-Albion striker Phillips would support a move for the Denmark international, claiming that he’s come on a long way since his days at Middlesbrough.
“I always like to see four strikers at a club. Of course, it’s always difficult to keep them all happy, especially nowadays when you only play up top,” ‘Super Kev’ told West Brom News.
“He’s surprised me. He’s surprised a lot of people.
“He didn’t light it up at Middlesbrough but he’s gone to Barcelona and since then I’ve watched him become a better player. Of course, playing with better players helps that but that will be a decent and positive signing if you can get him in January.
It is understood Barca want just over £13million for the former Middlesbrough and Leganes striker, who arrived at the Nou Camp in controversial circumstances in February.
As reported by BBC Sport, La Liga granted Barca special dispensation to sign Braithwaite outside of a transfer window from Leganes after Ousmane Dembele was dealt a season-ending injury blow.
Leganes suffered relegation as they were unable to sign a replacement for Braithwaite, who has hardly been used by Barca this season.
The Dane has played just six times in all competitions, with all six appearances coming as a substitute to combine as 44 minutes in total.
Should West Brom sign a player who’s hardly played this season in January? It’s a massive, massive risk because it could take Braithwaite a lot of time to get up to speed in terms of both his fitness and to learn Slaven Bilic’s system.
We’d normally be excited to see the Baggies linked with an international player who currently plays for Barcelona and has experience of playing in England, France and Spain.
But Braithwaite just doesn’t do it for us. There are bound to be better options out there for £13million if Albion have that much to spend in January.