Conor Hourihane would be a great signing for West Brom if he joined this summer, according to former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan.
The Lowdown: Hourihane linked with move
Valerien Ismael is looking to mastermind the Baggies’ return to the Premier League next season, following their relegation last time around.
One player the new manager has been linked with bringing in is Hourihane, who only played a bit-part role for Aston Villa last season before he was loaned out to Swansea.
The midfielder could leave Villa Park during the summer and a permanent drop down to the Championship could make perfect sense for him.
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The Latest: Pundit talks up midfielder
“He is a professional player and a professional person. Someone that’s got that fight and desire and the leadership qualities you want in any side.
“But also the quality to go along with it. He can determine the outcome of a match. We’ve seen that many, many times.
“He’s a great set-piece taker as well. He’s somebody who can drive the team forward. He looks like a bit of a talker and a leader out there on the field as well.
“If he’s not needed at Aston Villa and I’m a Championship club right now,I’m looking for somebody that could determine the result of a game.
“Somebody that players want to speak to in the changing room, a leader and an example for everybody else. I wouldn’t look any further than Hourihane.
“I think he has been exceptional at every club that he’s been at and shown that right attitude as well.”
The Verdict: Perfect summer addition
Hourihane may not arguably be good enough to make the grade in the Premier League, but he is a top-quality Championship player, as proven during 145 appearances in the competition.
He helped Villa earn promotion to the top flight back in 2018/19 and both his experience and quality in the middle of the park could be a great boost for West Brom.
Hourihane’s current contract expires next summer, so Dean Smith may believe now is the right time to let him go and if he does, West Brom should be at the front of the queue.
In other news, West Brom are believed to have approached one player regarding a summer move. Find out who it is here.
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