Former West Brom forward Kevin Phillips has suggested that the Baggies should consider making a move to sign experienced midfielder James McCarthy this summer.
The Baggies were linked with a potential swoop for McCarthy during the January transfer window with the midfielder’s contract at Crystal Palace running down and West Brom desperate for midfield reinforcements.
However, in the end, the 42-cap Republic of Ireland international remained with Palace to see out the rest of his deal.
McCarthy is now available to be signed on a free transfer this summer following his release from Crystal Palace. The 30-year-old has lots of experience to offer and had been a key player for the Eagles in the Premier League during his two campaigns with them raking up 52 appearances in all competitions in the last two years.
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Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips insisted that McCarthy would be a strong signing by West Brom if they were to reignite their interest in the midfielder this summer. While he also believes that despite him heading into the latter part of his career he would still have a lot to offer.
He said: “If he comes in it’d be almost like Jake Livermore because he’d come in with that experience.
“My only concern would be can he play week in, week out, every Saturday and every Tuesday? Can he get to that level of fitness when he hasn’t played a lot?
“I think they need to be careful not to fill the squad with players at the back-end of their careers, they need to get that blend right.
“But I think he’s experienced, you can’t question that, and on his day, he’s a good player.
“He’s a ball player and Ismael showed at Barnsley that he likes to get the ball down and play. He certainly can do that so if he did come, he’d be a good addition to the squad.”
Phillips could be onto something with this suggestion. West Brom have clearly held an interest in McCarthy in the past and they could do a lot worse than bringing someone with his quality and experience into the Hawthorns as they target midfield reinforcements before the window closes this summer.
The Baggies have been keen on Trevoh Chalobah so this one might come down to whether they manage to secure a deal for the in-demand midfielder or not.
However, if Valerien Ismael was to miss out on his first-choice target then a move for the 30-year-old might well be a very smart one.
McCarthy would be more than good enough for the Championship and his technical quality and composure in possession would make him a standout performer potentially at that level.
Depending on the level of wages he would demand, and he would have to take a cut from his Palace wage, it might be an excellent move for both parties.