Exclusive: Whelan reacts as West Brom close to signing English striker: 'Is he PL quality?'
Noel Whelan claimed signing Karlan Grant from Huddersfield could be “worth the gamble” for West Brom.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and Championship expert claims that the 22-year-old has shown enough to suggest he could be a success in the Premier League.
As revealed by Football Insider on Friday, the Baggies are closing in on a deal for the Terriers forward after a breakthrough in transfer talks.
Grant scored 19 goals in 43 appearances for Huddersfield last season, while he also chipped in with a further four assists for his teammates.
West Brom currently have the likes of Charlie Austin, Hal Robson-Kanu and Kenneth Zohore as their centre-forward options at the Hawthorns.
Whelan admits it would be a risk for West Brom to have the London-born striker leading the line next season but that his signing could pay off for Slaven Bilic.
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“I’ve seen him on a couple of occasions playing for Huddersfield and he was pretty much marked out of the game and missed plenty chances at the John Smith’s,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“Look, it’s a risk, if he’s going to be playing out wide then I think he’s one of these player you can give this Premier League experience, absolutely. He’s 22, there definitely is a player in him, whether he’s ready right now I’m not sure but he’s definitely worth a gamble.
“He’s worth a gamble if the money’s right as well. He scored quite a few goals in a poor Huddersfield side last year so it shows he knows where the back of the net is but it’s a different level of defending he’ll be coming up against in the Premier League.
“Everyone’s got to be aware of that – it isn’t one step up, you’re talking two, three steps up you’re going to be coming up against and that’s why you’re probably going to need a little bit more experience within the side.
“I don’t begrudge Slaven Bilic trying to bring him into the side, I think there is definitely something he can offer the side but would it be Premier League quality? Time will tell.”