By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

27th Sep, 2021 | 8:10am

Kevin Phillips reacts as West Brom eye Plymouth goalkeeper Michael Cooper

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…

West Brom could be eyeing Plymouth goalkeeper Michael Cooper as a potential replacement for Sam Johnstone, according to Kevin Phillips.

Football League World has reported that the Baggies, as well as Aston Villa, Birmingham, Brentford and Sheffield United, are keeping tabs on the 21-year-old shot-stopper.

Cooper enjoyed a strong start to the season in League One with Plymouth and Phillips feels he could be viewed as a back-up plan for if Valerien Ismael loses Sam Johnstone in January with the 28-year-old goalkeeper’s contract due to expire next summer.

Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “It’s natural and it’s just common sense to make contingency plans.

We don’t know what’s going on, we don’t know what’s being said. Maybe Johnstone’s already said, ‘I’ll give it my best this season and then I want out’. You don’t know, that might have been a conversation that’s been had.

It’s sensible business for the club to look at a back-up goalkeeper.

I don’t know enough about Cooper so you’ve got to trust the judgement of the scouts.

If they’re looking at him he must be a decent ‘keeper, Plymouth are doing well so it smells a bit like they’re making a back-up plan in case Johnstone leaves.”

Cooper may be young at the age of 21 but the Exeter-born goalkeeper already has over 50 league appearances to his name at Plymouth.

He kept a clean sheet away at Championship side Peterborough in the Carabao Cup last month and also managed to keep Darren Moore’s Sheffield Wednesday at bay in League One.

There’s no surprise that clubs are taking a look at this impressive young, English goalkeeper.

But if West Brom lose Johnstone in January, they do have David Button and Alex Palmer in reserve.

It’s unlikely that Albion will spend money in January on players they don’t need to sign.

In other West Brom news, this Albion player appears to have deleted his social media accounts after being abused online.

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