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“A very nice option to have” – Carlton Palmer delivers thoughts on potential positional change for experienced West Brom man

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Deployed slightly deeper than usual in a pre-season friendly against Crewe Alexandra at the weekend, Matty Phillips emerged as one of West Brom’s better performers on the day. 

The winger, who former Baggies boss Valerien Ismael saw as a striker, is once again proving his versatility and could be deemed as a central midfield option for when the new campaign begins. 

Looking to possess the options to be able to operate within different systems, having a player like Phillips, who can put in strong performances whilst operating in an unfamiliar role is excellent for Steve Bruce. 

When asked if there is scope for Phillips to continue as a central midfielder with the new Championship campaign in mind, Carlton Palmer told Football League World: “Well, I think it’s given Steve Bruce options. Matt is a wide player, he can play wide on the right, wide on the left.

“Steve’s tried him in the holding role in midfield and he’s adapted very well and played very well.

“I don’t see him starting now. I just couldn’t see that happening.

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“But what it does for Steve, you know, Steve’s looking at all eventual circumstances during the season, you end up getting injuries you end up getting suspensions, therefore, you’ve got to be able to shuffle your pack a little bit.

“He’s fit at the moment, he’s got to stay fit and he’s given Steve a very nice option to have.”

The verdict 

As Palmer quite rightly points out, injuries, suspensions and other reasons will mean that Bruce will not have his strongest available XI for some games this season, increasing the importance of having a player like Phillips. 

Athletic, technically gifted and possessing the ability to read the game well, the experienced winger is a real asset to Bruce and Co. 

Perhaps he may be tested in that position a few times during the new season and there is certainly scope for him to emerge as a regular starter in that position, however, at this stage, it does seem like there are other players ahead of him. 

Phillips is a great player for Bruce to have around for the new campaign and could grow in importance as the season progresses.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: “A very nice option to have” – Carlton Palmer delivers thoughts on potential positional change for experienced West Brom man

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