Former West Bromwich Albion forward Kevin Phillips has said the completion of Adam Reach’s move to The Hawthorns is ‘sensible business’, in an interview with West Brom News.
28-year-old Reach was released by Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the summer following their relegation to the third-tier, a blow for the Owls who had paid £5m in 2016 to lure him away from Middlesbrough.
Despite this heavy price tag, he provided value for money during his five seasons at Hillsborough, recording eight goal contributions in the Championship last term and making a total of 230 appearances during his time with the South Yorkshire club.
Quiz: What was the score the last time West Brom played at each of these 24 stadiums?
Although Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers were also interested in his signature after Harvey Elliott’s departure back to parent club Liverpool, but it was Valerien Ismael’s side who managed to get to the winger first as he signed a three-year deal at The Hawthorns.
He links up with Alex Mowatt, Quevin Castro and Matt Clarke as the promotion hopefuls’ fourth signing of the summer and comes in to replace the likes of wide men Kamil Grosicki and Kyle Edwards who were both officially released by the West Midlands side last month on the expiration of their contracts.
Pundit and former Baggie Kevin Phillips is particularly pleased with this latest addition and sang the 28-year-old’s praises in an interview with West Brom News.
He said: “Technically, he’s a very good player.
“He chips in with goals and whenever he does score, they seem to be worldies.
“It’s sensible to be looking at free agents for players to come in as a squad player, especially in this day and age where finances are tight due to COVID.
“He’s also got that experience, he’s been there and done it, he’s a good character in the dressing room and at that right age.
“It’s sensible business to get in a player of his quality.”
The winger is set to miss his new side’s opening game of the league season against AFC Bournemouth on Friday, but it shouldn’t be too long until fans get to see him in action for the first time.
Adam Reach is a solid signing. He may not be the most spectacular acquisition but to pick up an experienced Championship player like the winger on a free transfer is a great achievement and he will prove to be a valuable squad player throughout the next season.
Although areas of their starting lineup need to be addressed, most notably their attacking department after Mbaye Diagne’s return to Galatasaray, they will need a sufficient amount of squad depth if they want to sustain a push for the Championship title and ensure they return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
This depth will be the key to their success and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Baggies execute more Reach-esque deals during the summer to bolster different areas across their team and provide adequate competition to some of their first-teamers.
They have already made a quartet of shrewd signings in the past couple of months and West Brom will be hoping to conduct their remaining business in this window in the same vein. If they can, they will be in pole position alongside the likes of Sheffield United and Fulham to secure an automatic promotion spot next May.