More lethal than Phillips: Bilic would bolster WBA title hopes by adding £20m talisman – opinion

West Bromwich Albion’s season has hit a stumbling block.

The Baggies may well be sitting pretty at the top of the Championship table but their form in recent weeks has been a worrying concern.

It is epitomised most by Brentford’s recent rise to third place.

Both Albion and Leeds United held a substantial gap in the automatic promotion places, which at one stage was as many as 12 points. That is down to just seven with the Bees hot on their heels. Fulham are closely behind too.

Slaven Bilic’s side have won just one league game in their last seven, stretching back until the middle of October, and that was heading towards a defeat at one point until Charlie Austin’s super-sub cameo.

Four draws in their last five matches also highlights just how big that gap at the top could have been – that’s eight points gone, add that to their current total and they are ten clear of Leeds in second place having played them on New Year’s Day.

The west Midlands outfit need a spark this month and the January transfer window presents that very opportunity.

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One player linked to the club that holds the keys to all that is Jarrod Bowen.

The Hull City hotshot has been in impressive form once again this season. He’s netted 17 times while providing five assists, per Transfermarkt.

Bowen has the ability to play anywhere across the front three, which opens up the scope to many possibilities with Matheus Pereira and Grady Diangana exciting options in attacking midfield.

Although, his best position is out on the right flank, where he is proving to be a more lethal option than Matty Phillips.

Matt Phillips vs Jarrod Bowen Shots per game - More lethal than Phillips: Bilic would bolster WBA title hopes by adding £20m talisman - opinion

In addition to scoring nine more goals than the 28-year-old, Bowen has proven to be a bigger threat, regularly popping off more shots at the opposition, as seen in the graph above.

West Brom’s conversion rate in the Championship this term has been poor, scoring just 51.5% of their total shots at goal – 50 of 97 in fact, via Transfermarkt.

The Baggies have also only scored five times in their last six matches which is below the rate they have been scoring all season as they rank best in the division currently.

Bowen can add that spark to reignite Bilic’s frontline and their title hopes – if there’s any way the club can thrash out a deal, then they must do it. The Athletic believe he could be available for £20m, but his contract does expire in the summer.

Meanwhile, an update over the future of Nathan Ferguson has been provided this week…

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