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 admits he’s been let down by Matheus Pereira this season with the West Brom playmaker struggling to perform consistently well in the Premier League.

Pereira, 24, is West Brom’s top goalscorer this season with six goals in all competitions while none of his team-mates have supplied as many assists [3] as the Brazilian ace.

However, there have been periods this term where Pereira has struggled and he’s currently in one of those periods right now.

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The former Sporting CP player has underwhelmed in his last few appearances and was arguably at his worst for the Baggies on Thursday night as they lost 1-0 to Everton at The Hawthorns.

Nothing seems to be going right for Pereira but Phillips suggests that the 24-year-old will have learned a lot from his debut season in the Premier League, which bodes well for the future if the Albion somehow stay up this term or win promotion back.

“He gets into some good positions. Even late on in the game [against Everton], he cut inside and pulls the trigger to try to find that little pass to someone else. It was literally the last kick of the game,” Phillips told West Brom News.

“It’s a confidence thing. He hasn’t shone an awful lot this season, there’s been dribs and drabs. It’s been difficult and we’ve always said he’d be okay in the Premier League but he’s probably found it harder than we envisaged.

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“Would I criticise him for a lack of effort? I think he works hard enough. At times he probably doesn’t track back, he loses his men, but he’s more of an offensive player so you can forgive him a little bit for it.

“I expected more from him this season after what we saw in the Championship and it just shows you how tough it is.

“It would surprise me if West Brom were to stay in the Premier League but if they did, it wouldn’t surprise me if he performed better next year now he’s had a season in it to find out about it and adapt his game. But he doesn’t look like he’ll get that opportunity.

“It’s disappointing because he’s got ability and it’s a shame we haven’t seen it as much this season.”

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Pereira lit up the Championship with his performances last season and with the way things are going, we can look forward to the South American being handed the chance to do the same again in 2021/22.

West Brom seem nailed on to get relegated with nine points separating themselves from safety and 11 matches left to play.

Pereira doesn’t have much time left to make an impact in the Premier League and try to keep the Baggies afloat but if it’s a confidence thing, he should know that he can play without as much pressure between now and the end of the campaign with Albion’s fate pretty much set in stone.

In other West Brom news, this Albion player has seen his company strike a deal with a high-flying Championship club.

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