Kevin Phillips delivers verdict on West Brom potentially signing Mbaye Diagne for next season
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 urges West Brom to at least try to re-sign Mbaye Diagne in the summer even if it means getting him on loan again.
Sam Allardyce signed Diagne, 29, on loan from Galatasaray in January and he’s since scored three goals in 15 Premier League appearances.
However, Sky Sports journalist Lyall Thomas has reported West Brom don’t have the option to sign Diagne permanently at the end of his loan deal while the striker is starting to attract attention from Watford, Brighton and Crystal Palace.
While he’s wanted in the Premier League, Phillips claims Diagne is someone who’d be better suited in the Championship at the Baggies if he wants to stay.
Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “It’s a difficult one because he has done well.
“If they had him the whole season he could have been a real difference and a handful at getting delivers into the box. You saw his header [against Wolves], it was a trademark finish.
“It’s a tough one but it depends on the finances. I’ve said all along if you can bring a player back to the club that seemed happy there and has done the business, you’d be silly not to as long as you don’t have to break the bank for him. It’ll all depend on whether the player wants to stay too.
“I think he would suit the Championship hands down because it’s a physical league and he’s shown he’s a real physical player.
“Whether they’ll push the boat out for him I don’t know but I’d certainly enquire whether they could get him back on loan or sign him.”
According to stats by Wyscout, only Michy Batshuayi has been offside more times per 90 minutes of Premier League football this season than Diagne [1.21].
Even though he’s certainly improved the Baggies attack, there’s no denying that Diagne has proven to be wasteful.
He’s offside more than he should be and has squandered a number of massive opportunities.
The striker’s xG stat is 5.62 in the Premier League for the Albion, meaning he should have scored almost double the number of actual goals he does have to his name .
Can he do better in the Championship? You would imagine so but some of the chances he’s blown in the Premier League suggest he might not be able to crank up the numbers quite like Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle did a couple of years back.
In other West Brom news, next month could be huge for Guochuan Lai’s ownership of the Baggies.