Former West Brom forward Kevin Phillips has suggested that the Baggies would have a major chance of bouncing straight back to the Premier League if Chris Wilder is appointed as manager.
The Baggies have been taking their time in searching for the right replacement for Sam Allardyce since he confirmed his departure from the Hawthorns. However, according to the latest reports West Brom are closing in on appointing Wilder as their next permanent manager. That comes with the former Sheffield United boss having plenty of admiration from the club’s hierarchy.
It is being reported by Birmingham Live that the plan would be that Wilder takes West Brom straight back into the Premier League for the 2022/23 campaign. The 53-year-old has already shown that with the right backing he can get a side out of the Championship, as he did with the Blades during the 2018/19 campaign guiding them to automatic promotion.
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Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips insisted that Wilder is the right sort of profile of manager for the Baggies to be looking at to replace Allardyce. He also believes that the former Sheffield United boss had the quality to put them in a strong position to challenge for promotion at the first attempt.
He said: “When you look out there at who’s available at this precise moment that would have any chance of getting them out of this league, Chris Wilder would be at the very top of the list.
“They’ve got every opportunity [of an instant return] but it also depends on who goes and who comes in during the summer, what funds are made available and are they going to be Chris’ signings?
“There are a lot of factors in it but you would have to say they’ve got a great opportunity for bouncing straight back with him in charge.”
This seems like exactly the right sort of appointment for the Baggies to make this summer and would be a real statement of intent heading into the Championship campaign. Wilder is a manager that is a proven winner and can help to drive his sides to promotion as he has done twice with Sheffield United taking them from the third tier to the Premier League.
If you are appointing Wilder though, you also have to be prepared to back him in the transfer market. He is synonymous with that three at the back set-up where two of the three centre-backs are given licence to get forwards and support attacks. West Brom would need to bring in the right sort of players to suit that kind of approach.
Phillips is right that West Brom would have a manager in place that is a proven promotion-winner and there should be reason to be optimistic about their prospects this term if they do get this one over the line. It would be interesting to see how Wilder would handle a job where there is more immediate pressure on securing promotion than there was at Sheffield United.