By Nick Ware

23rd Nov, 2021 | 2:52pm

Kevin Phillips reacts as West Brom reportedly plan Taylor Gardner-Hickman contract talks

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 delighted by a recent claim that West Brom plan to open talks with Taylor Gardner-Hickman over a new contract.

The Athletic reported last week that Albion are plotting a move to tie the 19-year-old to new terms after his first-team breakthrough this season.

Gardner-Hickman started the 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, his third appearance of the 2021/22 campaign so far.

Ex-Albion striker Phillips suggests his old club have made big mistakes in the past, but are making strides in their dealings with young players.

“I think we’ve seen it too often at West Brom and other clubs, letting their younger players go when bigger clubs come sniffing around, so I think you have to have lessons learnt from that,” Phillips told West Brom News.

“It’s certainly the way forward in terms of clubs finances are tight, especially the likes of West Brom, so they want to get their young players tied down, bleed them through and try to get them into that first team.

“They’ve already done that with this young kid and they know he’s an exciting young talent so it’s good to see that the player hopefully wants to sign, stay and fight for a place.

“It’s very good news, for once we’re talking about a player signing a new deal, not looking to get away and sign for someone else.”

Sharing responsibilities

Darnell Furlong was the undisputed right wing-back in Valerien Ismael’s system at the beginning of the season, but his red card at Fulham opened the door for Gardner-Hickman.

Furlong was restricted to a substitute cameo against Huddersfield on Saturday, but could return in place of his younger deputy at Blackpool on Tuesday night.

In other West Brom news, see our predicted XI v Blackpool as Callum Robinson is backed to start amid four changes.

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