West Brom’s Chris Brunt has insisted that they would have got automatic promotion had they kept hold of Harvey Barnes.

Barnes enjoyed a superb first half of the season at the Hawthorns and was an integral part of their attack focused style of play.

From his 26 Championship appearances, the winger scored nine and assisted another seven.

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Chris Brunt has told the Express and Star, that West Brom would have got automatically promoted had Barnes stayed at the club all season:

At times a lot of things he did probably papered over a few cracks if I’m totally honest, but you could get away with it because you had him in the team, you knew he had got the quality to do something.

With the attacking quality that he has, the emphasis on defending was taken away from him and our job was to just get the ball to him so he could go and do something and for six months of the season he did that.

When he left it was a massive loss for us because I think he scored ten goals and created countless others in half a season. If you sit down and look back, that might have been the difference in us losing out in the play-offs and getting promoted automatically.

Barnes returned to his parent club Leicester in January, but he could not hit the ground running in the same way as he did with West Brom. He only scored one and assisted two from his 16 Premier League games.

After missing out on an automatic promotion place, West Brom were left to fight for promotion through the play-offs.

They were defeated on penalties in the second leg of their play-off semi-final against Aston Villa and will play their football in the Championship for the second successive year.

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