Kevin Phillips believes Slaven Bilic dropped Grady Diangana for West Brom’s recent game against Tottenham because of his poor form.
Having signed on a season-long loan deal from West Ham United in summer 2019 at The Hawthorns, the 22-year-old winger played an important part in helping the Baggies to promotion to the Premier League, with eight goals and seven assists.
Such form saw the England under-21 youngster gain a permanent move to West Brom this summer in a £12.15m deal but he is yet to find the form that saw his reputation enhanced last term, with just one goal so far in 2020/21.
Bilic opted to drop Diangana from his starting XI for the recent visit of Spurs to The Hawthorns and hand former Sheffield United man Callum Robinson a start.
Phillips has said he understands the decision, telling West Brom News:
“Some players take a while to settle [in the Premier League] but, unfortunately, West Brom can’t afford to wait for players to take their time in hitting the ground running. They need it now because they need results.
“That might be a reason why Slaven’s chopped and changed and taken him out.
“It might do him the world of good. Taking a player out of the team can help, looking from the outside in.”
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Bilic was completely in his right to drop Diangana for what has proven to be more of a struggle for him this season, but the Croatian must be careful.
Morale could be quite low in the West Brom camp as they still seek their first league win of the season, and dropping the winger long-term could knock his confidence.
Diangana seems to have the ability to find his form once again, but it is fair to say that none of the current Baggies players are really excelling of late.