West Bromwich Albion have confirmed the news that midfielder Matt Phillips has agreed fresh terms to keep him at the club until 2022.
The 28-year-old has been at the Hawthorns since the summer of 2016 and has continued to establish himself as a key figure this term by starting each of West Brom’s league games so far this season.
It is no surprise that new Baggies boss Slaven Bilic has taken a liking to Phillips, who was also a regular last season as West Brom ended their campaign with a play-off semi-final defeat to Aston Villa.
The winger is full of tricks and pace, while he is also direct in his approach which means he is capable of leading West Brom’s attacking efforts.
The fact Bilic has backed his talents so far this season also can only give him a boost, as he is a player who thrives in confidence and should have this in abundance given his solid start to the season.
The news that the Baggies have been to extend his contract for a further three years will also give Phillips confidence, as it is a clear indication that the club see him as instrumental to their plans.
It may be viewed by some as something of a knee-jerk reaction simply because he has been a regular so far this season, but this is a move that makes sense from a financial perspective as well as on the pitch.
West Brom tying Phillips down on a relatively long-term contract means they are not just maintaining his playing services, but they are giving themselves bargaining power if Phillips does go on to have an excellent season and bigger clubs come calling.
Bilic himself confessed in his pre-match press conference that Phillips is a “Premier League player”, so it would not really be a surprise if a top-flight club came in for him during the next year.
The fact Phillips still has three years left at the club means the Baggies can reasonably demand a large fee for the services of a player who is in his prime playing years.
This new deal also very much works for Phillips as well, as he is likely to be on an increased wage and the contract length means his future is looking more settled.
It will also be a move that will give the West Brom fans some reassurance that those in charge of the club have its best interests at heart, as Phillips is one of their key assets and someone who is capable of getting the Hawthorns’ crowd on their feet.
Therefore, this new contract is a decision that makes sense on a number of levels. While some may be surprised to West Brom secure the services of Phillips for a whole three years, it is a move that they hope will bring the best results on the pitch, among the fans and potentially in the boardroom.