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 doesn’t believe Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury is a player who Sam Allardyce needs at West Brom this month amid speculation linking him to The Hawthorns.
The Express & Star reported that week that Allardyce has made the 23-year-old a top target and talks have taken place about a potential loan deal.
Phillips, who coached at Leicester and knows Choudhury well, feels that Allardyce needs a centre-back more than anything else this month and claims that the Foxes midfielder is no better than Albion’s current midfield options Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers.
“In my opinion, I think he would just be another squad player. I have to be honest,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“I’ve seen a lot of him and Hamza was there when I was at Leicester. He a tough, aggressive player.
“Is he any better than what’s already there? I don’t think he is if I’m being honest.
“I’m not going to tell Sam how to do his job but I don’t think that’s the area [West Brom need to improve]. It’s going to cost a fair bit of money and they need to put that money towards a centre-half because defensively, they’ve been poor and since Sam came in, it hasn’t looked any better.
“For me, I wouldn’t be looking in that area. Livermore could do just as good a job. Sawyers is there too so I think you have players already there than can do that job.
“What’s Hamza going to bring? They can’t score goals. What he does is break up play and pass the ball to an attacking player and they’ve already got players who do that.
“Centre-half would be my priority but, at the end of the day, they would have done their homework and if that’s the position Sam feels he needs then who am I to judge?”
West Brom’s central midfield options have struggled to perform this season with the exception of Conor Gallagher.
Phillips might be a fan of Livermore and Sawyers but we believe that the club captain is underperforming and the ex-Brentford playmaker is out of his depth in the Premier League.
Choudhury has 40 Premier League appearances to his name, which is more than what Sawyers has and he’s also a lot more defensive-minded than Livermore, who was moulded into a more athletic, box-to-box type midfield under Slaven Bilic.
Allardyce will struggle to transform Livermore back to a strong, holding midfield in the middle of the season so we don’t see why signing Choudhury will be a bad option.
He could sit in front of the back-four with Gallagher and one or two other midfielders ahead of him.
As Super Kev says, Choudhury is an aggressive player. We could do with a bit of that in our midfield. There’s no way some players enjoy playing against the Foxes youngster.
In other West Brom news, the Albion are in talks to sign an in-form striker.