Ex-West Bromwich Albion forward Kevin Phillips believes new Baggies addition Jordan Hugill will only be a ‘short-term solution’ for Valerien Ismael’s side, speaking to West Brom News.
The 29-year-old joined on loan from newly-promoted Premier League side Norwich City last week, with the forward unlikely to receive a sufficient amount of game time at Carrow Road in the top flight after seeing Josh Sargent arrive from Werder Bremen this month.
Valerien Ismael’s side, on the other hand, needed to target a striker this summer after seeing this department become one of their weakest areas following Mbaye Diagne and Charlie Austin’s departures in the past few months.
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Kenneth Zohore’s recent poor run of form at The Hawthorns further reinforced the need for the 45-year-old Frenchman to bring in fresh blood in this area and they might not be stopping there, with Watford man Troy Deeney being linked with a move to the West Midlands, though they face a huge tussle with Birmingham City if they want to recruit him.
Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant are existing options at The Hawthorns manager Ismael could utilise, although Norwich loanee Hugill is expected to be given a sufficient chance to show what he can do with the wealth of Championship experience he already has under his belt.
Despite labelling the forward as a ‘short-term solution’, pundit Kevin Phillips thinks the 29-year-old could potentially provide the goals needed to fire West Brom to the Premier League and believes there will be no shortage of motivation for him to do so.
In an interview with West Brom News on the club’s latest arrival, Phillips said: “I think it’s seen as a short-term solution (the Hugill signing), to be honest, someone to come in to give competition to the players that are already there.
“We know that they’re very light in that area, it’s only really Karlan Grant that is an out-and-out striker that can play up there. Obviously [Callum] Robinson can play up there as well, but I’ve said all along that they need that striker that maybe can get them goals to help get them promotion.
“For me, it’s just a short-term thing to help get them promoted. You’d like to think the player, after not playing much football, coming in with that hunger and desire to really prove himself, and he’s coming to a side that’s second in the league so I think it’s a great move for him.”
This sounds about right from Kevin Phillips. Jordan Hugill can be relied upon to score the occasional goal and after winning promotion with Norwich City last term, making a respectable 31 Championship appearances in the process, the Baggies will be hoping he can bring this winning mentality to the West Midlands side’s dressing room.
Valerien Ismael’s side have already started off well but to keep that mentality, you need experienced men like the 29-year-old to settle the younger players down, keep players’ feet on the ground and ensure nerves don’t creep in throughout the campaign due to the weight of expectation on their shoulders.
In saying that, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see the forward mainly utilised from the bench if Troy Deeney or another high-profile signing arrives at The Hawthorns in the next couple of days.
Another signing in the forward department would be unbelievable for their squad depth and this could be key to an instant return back to the Premier League.
Hugill is a decent signing – but West Brom fans could be hungry for a prolific goalscorer up top to ensure they beat the likes of AFC Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Stoke City and others to win promotion to the Premier League, after only seeing their new arrival from Carrow Road score just four times in 31 league appearances last term.
Daryl Dike would be a dream signing, but Troy Deeney may be the more realistic option at this stage.