Former West Bromwich Albion striker Kevin Phillips believes that Karlan Grant will justify his lofty price-tag if he manages to fire in 20 goals this season and send the Baggies back to the Premier League.
After a slow start to the current campaign, the 2020 signing from Huddersfield is showing himself to be the leading man up-top under Valerien Ismael.
Despite being an out-and-out striker, Grant has found himself more as a left-sided forward under the Frenchman due to his liking for having a more physical body in the middle, but it’s suiting him just fine for now.
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Grant’s last eight Championship matches have seen seven goals been scored by the 24-year-old, the latest being the winner last night against Hull City to take his tally to eight goals and two assists for the season.
He was an expensive £15 million addition last summer when the Baggies were managed by Slaven Bilic but he managed to score just once under the Croat and his replacement Sam Allardyce didn’t fancy Grant, often leaving him on the bench.
The back of the net is being found more consistently now and Phillips believes that Grant can become an Albion hero should he be the catalyst for promotion.
If he scores more than 20 goals this season and is successful in helping West Brom get promoted then, then he’ll have certainly justified his price-tag and the length of his contract,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“It hadn’t been an ideal start for him but we knew there was a goalscorer in there, we saw it at Huddersfield. But it was just about finding a way to get it out of him.
“As I’ve always said, strikers live on confidence and if you get one goal, you get another one and if your manager keeps playing you, it don’t half pay dividends.
“He’s full of confidence and bagged another goal last night to get the win.
“If he scores 20-plus goals and helps West Brom get promoted then he’ll go down as a hero and will certainly justify the fee and finances they’ve agreed to pay.”
Ismael has needed someone to step up to the plate to score West Brom’s goals and Grant is doing that currently.
He’s often the match-winner for the Baggies but you wouldn’t have expected that from the first batch of games this season where he struggled to be effective.
Grant will probably play even better when he’s alongside a more effective centre forward – Callum Robinson isn’t really the striker that Ismael wants to use and Jordan Hugill hasn’t done much to warrant a start despite being the physical kind that is craved by the head coach.
One player who can’t be faulted right now though is Grant and as long as his shots keep hitting the back of the net then he will have a guaranteed place in the team at The Hawthorns.