Ex-West Bromwich Albion striker Kevin Phillips believes Romaine Sawyers will leave The Hawthorns before the end of August, as he spoke to West Brom News.
After signing his former captain Alex Mowatt on a free transfer this summer, Valerien Ismael also took the step of recalling captain Jake Livermore back to the first-team squad, leaving Sawyers’ future at the Championship side in serious doubt.
Speaking after their opening game against AFC Bournemouth, the Baggies manager revealed the 29-year-old had been left out of the first-team squad due to ‘an issue with Covid’ and to weigh up his possible options ahead of a likely move away.
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He was missing from the first-team squad again yesterday, only going on to increase speculation about his future with Stoke City reported to be interested in the midfielder’s services. This interest was confirmed by Express and Star journalist Joseph Masi, who said an enquiry had been submitted about Sawyers’ availability in the Baggies Broadcast.
West Brom also seem to be on the prowl for another midfielder, seemingly missing out on Trevoh Chalobah who scored for Chelsea yesterday and also being linked with another move for Turkish international midfielder Okay Yokuslu.
Another signing in the middle of the park would all but bring the curtain down on a two-year spell for Sawyers in the West Midlands, although former forward and pundit Kevin Phillips believes his time at The Hawthorns has probably come to an end regardless.
The 48-year-old said to West Brom News: “I like Romaine (Sawyers).
“I think when he first came to West Brom, he had some good games. He sat in front of that back-four and did really well breaking up play and doing well with his passing.
“But it just hasn’t really worked out, has it? From West Brom’s point of view, if they can move him on and free up a wage to help bring in another striker then it’s sensible all around.
“From the player’s point of view, he’ll just want to go and play football now. I would imagine he’ll move on.”
Romaine Sawyers would do a good job for a Championship side, but there’s no point in him hanging around at The Hawthorns if he isn’t going to get any game time, especially if the Baggies go ahead and bring in another central midfielder to bolster their ranks.
As Kevin Phillips pointed out, his sale would not only bring in a welcome cash injection, but it will also free up another wage for another central midfielder, a winger or a much-needed striker to come in which can only help to build up manager Ismael’s remaining budget after selling Matheus Pereira.
Even though the likes of Alex Mowatt, Matt Clarke and Adam Reach have already arrived this summer, you just feel they need at least two starting players and another couple for depth just to ensure they can sustain their promotion push and stay around the top of the Championship throughout the campaign.
And if you look at this in a business sense, you may as well cash in on someone who is due to be out of contract in less than 12 months, even if the fee agreed is slightly lower than it would be if he had longer left on his deal.
So if they can agree a deal with Stoke City, it would probably be the ideal move for all parties. Sawyers wouldn’t have to move that far either – and would link up with a side that are seemingly on the up under Michael O’Neill.