Ageing like fine wine: Why West Bromwich Albion should do everything to sign this midfielder

Transfer story

Tony Pulis seems to be gutted after failing to renew the services of veteran stalwart Darren Fletcher which saw the former Manchester United midfielder leave on a two-year deal to Stoke City. Reports state that Pulis is ready to make amends and is already on the search for a replacement and Gareth Barry seems to top his shortlisted candidates to replenish and reinforce his midfield.

Pulis’ idea to replace a former Man United veteran with a former Man City veteran might just turn out be a master stroke.

The current congregation of midfielders at the Goodison Park along with the addition of Davy Klaassen might see limited to zero game time for the 36-year old, which might compel him to swap sides with West Bromwich Albion.

The ex-Aston Villa player has stepped up to the plate and provided the team with stellar performance whenever called upon by Koeman and it would be foolish to write him off as a futile signing for his age although many might think so.

Let us check on the stats of the midfielder in his past season at Goodison and see what he could contribute if a transfer does manage to converge within the two clubs.

Player stats

The English International made 24 first team starts in his 34 appearances for Everton FC last season which goes to exalt the player’s commendable fitness and form.

Barry maintained a pass success percentage of 79.4 and made 28 key passes for the Toffees this past season. His majestic link-up play and eagle-eyed vision to spot early passes are exemplified in these figures.

The player’s tackle success rate of 69.3% and a total of 35 interceptions showcases the fact that the former Man City veteran still has the traits of a top holding midfielder when it comes to protecting the team’s backline.

Safe to say the player still has a couple of good footballing years under his belt which could be well utilised under Pulis at Hawthorns. (Stats via WhoScored)

What’ll he offer the club?

The Welshman would certainly be deeply frustrated with the sudden departure of Darren Fletcher and possibility of acquiring Gareth Barry would be as good a replacement that they could ask for at the moment.

Barry is equipped with all the qualities and traits to play a holding midfield position and create chances and see through early passes and cross into the opponent’s heart.

The player also possesses a good physical presence on both field and air which makes him a tough stature for opposition to simply pass through.

The one-time Premier League winner has a lot of experience of playing in the top tier of English football and also knows how to cope with tough situations and handle expectations from club fans and officials.

Certainly qualities desirable for any manager to instill in their squad, Tony Pulis should go to all lengths to make this deal a possibility.

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