Former Premier League striker Darren Bent has claimed that West Bromwich Albion are set to make the perfect signing by offering Gareth Barry a new contract.
The 38-year-old is currently a free agent after his contract at the Hawthorns expired at the end of June, but West Brom head coach Slaven Bilic has confirmed that he plans to offer the midfielder a new deal.
Barry was a key player for West Brom last season and scored one goal in 27 appearances in all competitions, before he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
The experienced midfielder has spent time training with West Brom this summer as he works his way back to full fitness following successful knee surgery.
Barry has made it clear that he intends to continue his playing career and Bilic is keen to reward him for his progress in training by offering him a new contract.
Former Premier League striker Bent – who played alongside Barry for England – believes that the midfielder’s experience would make him the perfect signing for West Brom.
“He keeps himself in good nick but not only that he’s experienced as well,” Bent told Football Insider.
“If you’re looking for someone to show that kind of experience to sit in front of that back four and stuff and I guess he’s brilliant with the young kids as well.
“You need that bit of experience and played at the highest level – Gareth Barry has played for big clubs, won big trophies.
“For me that is a good bit of business, it’s the perfect signing.”
Bilic took charge at the Hawthorns earlier this summer and was able to bring in nine new players during the summer transfer window, as he looks to build a team that can challenge for promotion from the Championship this season.
I completely agree with Bent here. I think this would be a very good signing for West Brom. Not only is he a good player, but he will add some welcome experience to the Baggies’ midfield.
Bilic has brought in plenty of young players this summer and they would be able to learn a lot from an experienced player like Barry – someone who has been there and done it at the highest level.
Even if he doesn’t end up playing as many games as he did last season, he’d still be a big influence in the dressing room and should be able to help Bilic get the best out of his young players.
I’ve been really impressed with the players that Bilic has brought in so far this summer and I’m expecting West Brom to challenge for promotion this season.