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 claims Matheus Pereira’s stunning run of form at West Brom may attract interest from potential buyers in the summer.
Pereira, 24, has scored four goals and supplied two assists in his last four Premier League appearance for the Albion.
However, the Brazilian has frustrated fans for big parts of the season and Phillips believes that was down to him failing to hit the ground running after promotion from the Championship.
While some teams can afford to have passengers, Phillips claims the Baggies are not one of them.
Speaking to West Brom News, the ex-Baggies striker said: “I think he’s settled into life in the Premier League really well.
“He’s one of these players who I’ve said all along he might just need a bit of time to settle, which happens. But unfortunately, where you are and you’re West Brom, you want the players to be hitting the ground running.
“They need every point they can and they’re not a squad where you can’t afford to have one or two players not turning up in the game – you need every player.
“Big teams can sometimes carry a player. You look at Manchester City and a player like [Raheem] Sterling isn’t their usual self but they can get away with it whereas West Brom can’t.
“Pereira’s scored goals and he’s progressively looked as though he’s comfortable in that league which, if West Brom were to go down, would be a slight worry from their point of view in case a few people came sniffing.”
Pereira has been West Brom’s stand-out outfield player this season, scoring 10 goals and supplying five assists in 30 appearances across all competitions.
While a direct goal contribution every other game seems good on the surface, Pereira’s goals and assists have come in short spaces of time throughout the season, with long dry patches in between them.
However, he’s arguably in his best spell of form in the top-flight right now, which bodes well for West Brom and keeping alive their faint hopes of survival. Unfortunately, it’s also getting close to the summer transfer window.
Pereira still has another three years left on his contract but in the past, Albion have held onto players longer than they should have done and seen their value plummet. Saido Berahino is easily the best example.
While we could keep Pereira for next season and beyond, would it be worth keeping an unhappy player if he was to have his head turned by Premier League interest?
In other West Brom news, this former Premier League midfielder confirms he’d be keen to join the Albion.