Why West Brom should consider re-signing Gareth Barry
According to the Express & Star, West Brom are interested in re-signing former midfielder Gareth Barry, with the report claiming that Baggies manager Slaven Bilic is overly impressed by the veteran’s attitude.
The 38-year-old left West Brom back in June following the expiry of his contract at the end of the previous campaign but he has stayed at the club to recover from a knee surgery and Bilic is seemingly keen to have the former England international back on the club’s payroll.
Barry, who has been training with the Baggies’ first-team in recent weeks, is currently a free-agent and West Brom should not have any problems registering him outside of the transfer window should he manage to prove his fitness.
The 38-year-old former Aston Villa, Everton and Man City star made 24 appearances in the Championship last season but couldn’t help the Baggies clinch promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, as West Brom lost out to Aston Villa in the playoff semi-finals.
However, the fans at the Hawthorns have every reason to be pleased with how things have panned out for their club thus far this term under the stewardship of Bilic, with the Baggies currently flying high in the Championship after a bright start.
West Brom’s 2-0 victory over QPR on Saturday meant that the Baggies not only preserved their unbeaten status in the Championship but also finished Round 9 top of the table, as Leeds United suffered a defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic and Swansea City dropped points in a 1-1 draw against Reading.
With almost all the summer signings making an impact to varying degrees, Bilic will definitely be a relieved man but his interest in re-signing Gareth Barry is indicative of the fact that he wants to have more experience in his squad.
Despite losing high-profile players like Craig Dawson, Dwight Gayle, Jay Rodriguez and James Morrison in the summer window, West Brom still seem to have the perfect balance in their squad right now after signing as many as ten new players and Bilic definitely deserves a lot of credit for making an attempt to build a squad in his own image.
To put things into perspective, it should be a no-brainer for West Brom to sign the 38-year-old if he manages to prove his fitness on the training ground. Barry is very much in the twilight of his career but he would probably have a lot to offer off the pitch and act as a calming influence on the young players around him.
With Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore among the first names on Bilic’s teamsheet and Rekeem Harper and Chris Brunt as back-ups in the ranks, Barry would only be a bit-part player at the Hawthorns, but his words of wisdom coined from experiences over the course of a professional career that has stretched over two decades would certainly be a source of inspiration for the new players at the club.
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Plus, it is worth mentioning here that a player of his calibre is more than capable of adding much-needed depth to the squad and Barry might have a part to play later on in the campaign when the fixtures come thick and fast.
All in all, West Brom re-signing Gareth Barry would make perfect sense for a number of reasons.