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 would be “daft” to not offer defender Kyle Bartley a new contract, according to Kevin Phillips.

Bartley, 29, has just a matter of months remaining on his current agreement at The Hawthorns but has been one of the most in-form defenders in Sam Allardyce’s squad in recent weeks.

Albion have already started to consider new contracts for players with Conor Townsend agreeing an extended deal earlier this month.

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With relegation staring the Baggies in the face, Phillips believes it would make sense to get an experienced Championship player like Bartley tied down to fresh terms, suggesting the centre-back should be offered at least another year.

Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “In terms of finances, they will get hit. It’s not going to cost the world [to get Bartley on a new contract] and then you’ve got a player who performed in that league.

“It might be worth offering him a year to see what he says. He might decide to stay for another year or he might look to get a longer contract somewhere else.

“Those sorts of players, especially an experienced centre-half, can be hard to find if you’re trying to come up from the Championship. If you’ve already got one on your books, you’d be daft not to follow up on it and try to tie him down for at least a season. If not, one season with an option for another year if they go up.

“If I was in West Brom’s shoes, I’d be looking at that.”

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Bartley has made 17 Premier League appearances for West Brom this season, scoring two goals in the process which came against Chelsea and Fulham.

West Brom’s defence has struggled a lot in the Premier League but there’s no doubt we look a little bit more secure with Bartley in the back-line.

Semi Ajayi, for all his impressive work on the ball, simply hasn’t delivered in terms of his defensive qualities while Dara O’Shea looks out of his depth and Branislav Ivanovic is nowhere near good enough any more.

Bartley has divided opinion among fans at The Hawthorns but as funds are bound to be tight this summer, keeping hold of the ex-Swansea man for life back in the Championship makes a lot of sense.

In other West Brom news, Albion have frozen out this player but it’s not for sporting reasons.

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