By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

18th Jul, 2021 | 7:10pm

Kevin Phillips: James McCarthy would be 'Good addition' for West Brom

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 believes James McCarthy would be a “good addition” for West Brom this summer if they revive their interest in the midfielder.

McCarthy, 30, is a free agent after his contract at Crystal Palace expired at the end of last season.

The Republic of Ireland international was linked with a move to The Hawthorns in January when the Daily Mail reported that the Baggies were in the hunt to sign him.

Sam Allardyce ended up signing Okay Yoskulu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to bolster his central midfield options and McCarthy spent the remainder of last season at Palace, where he played just 16 times in the Premier League throughout the 2020/21 campaign.

But now he’s available on a free transfer, West Brom News asked Phillips whether he thinks McCarthy would be a clever signing for Valerien Ismael.

While Super Kev doesn’t want to see the squad’s average age raise too high, he would be happy if McCarthy was to join if he can prove his fitness.

Phillips said: “If he comes in it’d be almost like Jake Livermore because he’d come in with that experience.

My only concern would be can he play week in, week out, every Saturday and every Tuesday? Can he get to that level of fitness when he hasn’t played a lot?

I think they need to be careful not to fill the squad with players at the back-end of their careers, they need to get that blend right.

But I think he’s experienced, you can’t question that, and on his day, he’s a good player.

He’s a ball player and Ismael showed at Barnsley that he likes to get the ball down and play. He certainly can do that so if he did come, he’d be a good addition to the squad.”

McCarthy had over 270 Premier League appearances to his name from spells at Wigan, Everton and Palace.

West Brom have already added to their central midfield options this summer by signing Alex Mowatt but there’s no doubt that an extra body or two wouldn’t cause any harm due to the lack of options Ismael has.

In other West Brom news, fans should be excited by this young trio who could shine in the Championship next season.

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