By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

14th Nov, 2021 | 4:57pm

West Brom predicted to sign new centre-back in January by Kevin Phillips

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 expects West Brom may want to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window and a new centre-back could be brought in.

Earlier this week, Kean Bryan was ruled out for the rest of the season, joining Dara O’Shea as a long-term injury absentee at The Hawthorns.

Valerien Ismael likes to name a back-three and has had to play left-back Conor Townsend on the left-hand side of the back-three at times due to injury issues.

Ismael doesn’t seem to fancy Semi Ajayi, Cedric Kipre’s only just started to play regularly and Matt Clarke’s fitness and injury record has so far proven sketchy, leaving Kyle Bartley as the only proper reliable option.

Albion’s transfer activity in the summer was reduced to loanees and signing free agents so it remains to be seen what kind of budget – if any – Ismael has for January.

But Phillips feels that in order to get through the rest of the season, Ismael may have no choice but to add to his centre-back options in the next transfer window.

Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “You look down the spine of the team but you also try to bring in a defender, midfielder and attacking player if you’re able to.

You need enough cover, you don’t want to leave yourself short because as those fixtures come thick and fast over Christmas time and then get to the business end of the season at Easter, you want cover for every position.

Centre-back may be an area they look at [in January], having two players out could force their hand a bit.

They don’t want to leave themselves short but maybe that is something they’ll at come January.”

In other West Brom news, will Albion sack Valerien Ismael and bring in Daniel Farke?

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