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Kevin Phillips pinpoints key January transfer priority for West Brom



Former West Brom forward Kevin Phillips has suggested that the Baggies are going to have to go into the market and sign a centre-back in the January transfer window to bolster their options.

Valerien Ismael’s side have suffered a lot of misfortune on the injury front so far this campaign and that issue has been most felt at centre-back. Matt Clarke has already been out of action for a prolonged period after he picked up an injury back in August, while Dara O’Shea has already been ruled out of action for a lengthy spell through injury.

The latest blow for the Baggies in that position has come with the news that Kean Bryan, who was signed by Ismael on a free transfer following the injuries to Clarke and O’Shea at the start of the campaign, has suffered a season-ending ACL injury.

That leaves Ismael with just Semi Ajayi, Clarke, Cedric Kipre and Kyle Bartley to call upon in terms of natural choices to fill that position. However, Conor Townsend has also shown he is capable of playing on the left-hand side of the back three as well.

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Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips has suggested that West Brom are now going to have to look to bolster their options at the heart of their defence when the January transfer window opens. While he also feels the Baggies need a new forward and midfielder as well.

He said: “You look down the spine of the team but you also try to bring in a defender, midfielder and attacking player if you’re able to.

“You need enough cover, you don’t want to leave yourself short because as those fixtures come thick and fast over Christmas time and then get to the business end of the season at Easter, you want cover for every position.

“Centre-back may be an area they look at [in January], having two players out could force their hand a bit.

“They don’t want to leave themselves short but maybe that is something they’ll at come January.”

The verdict

You have to fully agree with Phillips’ assessment here of West Brom’s current situation heading into the January transfer window. They are light on options in the middle of their defence and that is such a key area for them considering Ismael likes his side to play with a back three that have to get through a lot of work at times.

It seems that Ismael is not yet fully convinced by the likes of Kipre and Ajayi and therefore he is relying really on Clarke and Bartley as the two main dependable options available to him. If he gets the funds to do so you would be shocked if he did not want to go out for a quality centre-back in the winter window to bolster his options in that area.

A solid signing at the heart of the defence could be the difference between West Brom going on to secure promotion or missing out. Therefore, it is vital that they take their time to assess the options out there and try and bring in the best player in that position that suits operating in a back three.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Kevin Phillips pinpoints key January transfer priority for West Brom

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