Kevin Phillips reacts as Kyle Bartley is linked with West Brom exit
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 does not want to see West Brom sell Kyle Bartley this summer with speculation linking the defender with a return to the Premier League.
Telegraph journalist Mike McGrath has this week reported that Newcastle and Crystal Palace are keeping tabs on the 30-year-old, who has one year remaining on his contract at The Hawthorns.
It is understood that Bartley could be prised away from the Baggies for just £3million.
Phillips isn’t too bothered by how much West Brom would get for Bartley.
Although he would want the Baggies to get more for the experienced centre-back, he feels that losing Bartley at this stage of the summer would be a huge blow for new manager Valerien Ismael.
Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “I don’t think it would matter how much money it is, it would just be a blow to lose him full-stop.
“He did very well last season, he’s one of their better players.
“If you lose part of the spine of your team, certainly at this stage, you haven’t got that long until the season starts to replace him.
“It would be difficult, it would be a blow.
“With the money, they’d like to get as much as they possibly could if he does go. £3million doesn’t seem an awful lot.
“Just for him to go would be a blow for West Brom at this stage.”
Bartley was arguably West Brom’s best defender last season despite their relegation from the Premier League but he was still a key player in a defence that leaked a ridiculous number of chances.
We could do better but there are other areas of the squad that need to be sorted out before considering selling Bartley and then creating another gap that needs to be plugged at the back.
Semi Ajayi and Dara O’Shea are good but they aren’t good enough on their own.
In other West Brom news, Jake Livermore could lose the captain’s armband after what happened last week.