By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

23rd Jul, 2021 | 12:45pm

Kevin Phillips reacts as West Brom make approach to re-sign Andy Lonergan

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 is baffled by West Brom’s reported approach to re-sign Andy Lonergan as their third-choice goalkeeper.

The Athletic reported earlier this week that Lonergan, 37, could return to The Hawthorns to serve as Valerian Ismael’s reserve goalkeeper even though he was released at the end of last season without ever making an appearance.

With Sam Johnstone looking as though he could leave, David Button is seemingly set to take over as Albion’s new first-choice goalkeeper with Alex Palmer stepping up into the number two role.

As it stands, Johnstone isn’t close to leaving The Hawthorns despite being in the final year of his contract.

But if he does go, Phillips would rather see Ismael utilise West Brom’s youth options in case of emergency, rather than go for Lonergan.

Speaking to West Brom News, Super Kev said: “I’d like to see younger players being given an opportunity, especially when it’s a third-choice ‘keeper.

How often do you see a third-choice get involved?

I’d rather see a young lad get the experience of training with these players day in, day out and then occasionally sneak onto the bench.

It’s a bit of a strange one for me but obviously the manager’s set his stall out and he wants to bring experienced players.

I’m not going to argue but I’d like to see a younger player [as number three].”

Lonergan has made over 330 Championship appearances in his career but has spent most of the last few years as a reserve goalkeeper at Leeds, Middlesbrough, Stoke, Liverpool and West Brom.

The former Preston and Bolton goalkeeper hasn’t made a league appearance since a spell on loan at Rochdale in League One in 2018/19.

In other West Brom news, Joseph Masi has shared an update on Conor Hourihane after he was linked with the Albion.

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