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Former West Brom forward Kevin Phillips has encouraged the club to retain January pick Mbaye Diagne if the Baggies are relegated from the Premier League.
The 29-year-old Senegalese forward is currently on loan from Galatasaray until the end of the season.
He scored 11 times in the first half of the campaign for the Turkish side before scoring his first goal for West Brom in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Valentine’s Day.
In evaluating his five starts, it is clear that Diange is still acclimating to the English, but fans still hope that he can be a vital cog in their quest for survival.
Sam Allardyce’s team is currently 19th in the table, about 11 points from safety. With just 13 games to go, it will take a gigantic effort for Hawthorns’ team to avoid the crash, but even if they don’t, Phillips said the club should do everything it can to tie Diagne to a permanent deal.
“From what I’ve seen so far, he hasn’t turned it on, but there’s certainly a player there from what I can see,” he said. West Brom News.
“When you have a player like that on your side, it’s pretty clear what kind of form you need to play to take advantage of his strengths.
“He has done well and I think he is improving. Can you do enough to keep them in the league?
“I don’t think so, but if they go down, maybe they could consider keeping him there next season to try and help them recover. In the Championship it would be a great handful.
“I’ve seen some positive signs from him, let’s put it that way and I think the goal will help him too.”
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Phillips, who scored 46 goals in 81 games for the bags Between 2006 and 2008, he highlighted the positive aspects of Diagne’s game.
“It’s a handful,” added the 47-year-old. “He got his goal (against Manchester United) really well and I think they saw it in the previous game (against Tottenham) where he had a disallowed pair.
“The good thing is that he looks strong, powerful and you can play with him. He has the ball, he is not the fastest player in the world, but he works very well ”.
Diagne’s loan contract, the sixth of her career, expires at the end of June.