Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Cardiff City In The Running For 29 Y/O West Brom Winger: The Right Man For Warnock’s System?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

West Brom winger, James McClean is hot on the radar of newly promoted Premier League side, Cardiff City. The 29-year-old is expected to be offloaded this summer in order to clear the wage books for a run at the EFL Championship.

McClean was not considered a starter for the Baggies last season but as a rotational option by the former manager, Tony Pulis. Ever since Alan Pardew’s appointment, the Republic of Ireland international saw more minutes on the pitch and finished the previous campaign with 34 total appearances.

He was an influential figure on the left wing during Albion’s late push towards a miraculous relegation escape. Other than the one goal he scored in the entire campaign, McClean did the needful, which was to supply balls from the wide positions.

He hit the spotlight when he switched from Northern Ireland side, Derry City to Sunderland in the summer of 2011. He went on to appear in 70 senior games and 11 U23 matches for the Black Cats before making the switch to Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2013.

McClean was climbing the ranks with 9 goals scored in the EFL Championship. He later rejected a move to MLS outfit, New York Red Bulls for a move to West Brom in 2015. His stay at the Hawthorns got off to a very rocky start leading to behavioural warnings from his manager. He was even booed by his own fans at the start of the 2015/16 campaign and got fined by the FA.

Now he has 110 appearances for the club over the course of three seasons and could be a valuable addition to the Bluebirds. McClean is a manager’s pet and is versatile enough to appear in both midfield and attacking positions.

Primarily a winger, the 29-year-old is not the most prolific or necessarily the fastest. He does have a solid left foot and a lanky athletic figure to cut his way through tight spots. Cardiff could use an experienced head from the top-flight to help them fight for survival next term.

Neil Warnock has done wonders with the City side to see them to the runners-up spot of the 2017/18 EFL Championship. Now it is an uphill battle against the country’s very best.

Read More: Burnley Looking To Reunite With 20m Rated Former Wonderboy: An Astute Move By Dyche?

With Jamie Ward set to return to Nottingham Forest after his loan spell, McClean could fill in as an able replacement.

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