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…
West Brom find themselves almost halfway through the January transfer window with just two additions made to the squad.
Experienced duo Robert Snodgrass and Andy Lonergan have both been signing by the Baggies but neither help address the biggest issue at The Hawthorns, according to ex-striker Kevin Phillips.
Albion have leaked goals this season. No Premier League club have conceded more than the Black Country club (39) while a staggering 17 have been conceded in their last four home matches at The Hawthorns.
Sam Allardyce is yet to curb West Brom’s defensive ineptitude and, if anything, the situation has gotten worse since he replaced Slaven Bilic in the dugout.
Phillips believes that Big Sam simply must add to his defence before the January transfer window closes.
“They’ve got to because defensively, they look all over the place,” Phillips told West Brom News when asked if Allardyce need to bolster his defence.
“It’s great bringing in an attacking player but he’s not going to get you 10-15 goals to keep you in the Premier League. You need to keep goals out first.
“Snodgrass may create opportunities but they need to keep clean sheets – it’s as simple as that. If they don’t address the situation then they’re not really going to have a chance of staying in the Premier League.”
West Brom have been linked with a number of centre-backs since Allardyce took charge.
The Daily Star has linked Albion with Manchester United’s Phil Jones, Sun journalist Alan Nixon reports Crystal Palace’s Mamadou Sakho is a target while his Selhurst Park team-mate James Tomkins is also reported to be on Allardyce’s wishlist [Football Insider].
With West Brom’s defence in such a state of disarray, it is hard to argue against any of those being an improvement on Allardyce’s current options.
Before this season, Semi Ajayi and Dara O’Shea had never played in the Premier League while Branislav Ivanovic hadn’t played in the English top-flight since 2017 amid his advancing years.
Kyle Bartley was hardly good enough for a top Championship team and Ahmed Hegazi was sold off behind Bilic’s back.
Sam Johnstone has shone at the Baggies this term but that is mainly due to how many chances the teams concedes to opposition attackers – even against mid-table or bottom-half teams.
Snodgrass is a good start for Big Sam this month but there are huge issues that might not be sold by signing one, or even two, new defenders.
In other West Brom news, Phillips admits he likes this Premier League player who’s been linked to Albion by Kaveh Solhekol.