EXCLUSIVE

Darren Bent has claimed that West Brom are set to make the “perfect signing” by offering Gareth Barry a new contract at the Hawthorns.

The former Aston Villa and England star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the veteran midfielder will bring some much-needed experience and guile to the Baggies’ side, having played over 800 times during his club career.

Having seen Barry’s previous contract expire at the start of summer, Slaven Bilic has confirmed he is planning to hand the 38-year-old a new deal to keep him tied down at the Hawthorns.

Bent says that as well as being a good player, Barry’s knowledge of the game and ability to influence others in the dressing room makes him a valuable asset and one Bilic is wise to keep on board.

“He keeps himself in good nick but not only that he’s experienced as well,” Bent told Football Insider.

“If you’re looking for someone to show that kind of experience to sit in front of that back four and stuff and I guess he’s brilliant with the young kids as well. You need that bit of experience and played at the highest level – Gareth Barry has played for big clubs, won big trophies

“For me that is a good bit of business, it’s the perfect signing.” 

Barry, who has played more games in the Premier League than any other player in history, featured 24 times in the Championship last season, with his campaign cut short by a knee injury which required surgery.

He has a total of 55 appearances for West Brom, who have started their new campaign with a win over Nottingham Forest and a draw against Millwall.

In other West Brom news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider the Baggies cannot expect one of their new signings to “run too often.”