Burnley should beat Cardiff City to sign Matt Phillips from West Brom
The 27-year-old Scottish international has only 18 months remaining on his current contract and he has so far refused to put pen to paper on a new deal. (h/t Mirror)
Both the clubs are battling relegation in the Premier League and have set their sights on Phillips but West Brom are likely to fight tooth and nail to hold onto their star man in their bid for promotion.
Phillips has been in prime form for the Baggies this season in the Championship, accumulating 5 goals and 6 assists from 22 appearances. The 27-year-old, who has the experience of playing in the Premier League with Queens Park Rangers, Blackpool and West Brom, is a seasoned campaigner in English football who can add a lot of value to both Burnley and Cardiff City.
Phillips is a conventional right-footed right-winger by trade but he has also been used on the left and as a right-back due to his defensive qualities. He is known for his pace, power, drive and determination and can prove to be a handful for any opposition with his direct style of play.
He might not be a technically gifted player as such but he makes up for it with his application and never-say-die attitude. A player known for his high levels of stamina and work ethics, the Scotsman plays with a positive body language and always puts in his hundred per cent on the pitch. While he is adept at making space and creating chances in the final third with his immaculate crossing, he tracks back and helps out his defenders as well.
Phillips has averaged 2.1 key passes, 1.8 dribbles and 2.4 crosses per game in the Championship this season.
To put things into perspective, Burnley can do their chances of survival a world of good if manage to have the final say in this transfer saga. A series of lacklustre performances in the first half of the season saw the Clarets sink into the relegation zone, but Sean Dyche’s men have managed to breathe life into their campaign with back-to-back victories over West Ham and Huddersfield Town in recent weeks.
Burnley sit 16th in the standings, just above Cardiff on goal difference and two points clear of Southampton in the relegation zone. As things stand, they need some fresh faces in January to boost their chances of survival in the Premier League.
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In all probability, the injury to Aaron Lennon has prompted the Clarets to pursue an interest in Matt Phillips. Burnley currently have Johann Berg Gudmundsson as the only option down the right while Dwight McNeil and Robby Brady are there to provide options down the left. Hence, someone like Phillips will not only provide cover for Gudmundsson but will also be a back-up for the likes of Matthew Lowton and Phil Bardsley at right-back.
That said, Burnley should go all out to sign him in January as he has all the experience and the quality to save the club from the jaws of relegation.