West Brom picked up their first point of the Championship campaign on Tuesday night with a 1-1 draw away at big spenders Nottingham Forest, and winger Matt Phillips proved to his boss Darren Moore that the club would be okay without wantaway World Cup star Nacer Chadli.
Sky Sports reported before the World Cup that the Belgian midfielder was unsure over his West Brom future after the Baggies were relegated from the Premier League during a season where the 29-year-old struggled with injury and made only five league appearances. According to Turkish sources he’s now being lined up for a move to Besiktas.
Chadli'de herhangi bir olumsuzluk yok. Beşiktaş, Chadli ile her konuda anlaşmaya vardı. İşin oyuncu tarafı tamam. Beşiktaş ile WBA arasındaki görüşmeler sürüyor. #Beşiktaş
— Yağız Sabuncuoğlu (@yagosabuncuoglu) August 8, 2018
However, after Phillips’ performance at the City Ground, Moore could be more likely to offload Chadli and put his faith in the Scottish international as well as young loan signing Harvey Barnes as first choice wingers at the club.
Everything that the Baggies created on Tuesday seemed to pass through Phillips at some point and the 27-year-old netted the equaliser for his side with a belter of a half-volley in the 87th minute to cap off the perfect individual performance.
His tally of 61 touches was the third most of any West Brom player on the night and he whipped a quite incredible 12 crosses into the Forest box throughout the 90 minutes.
The Baggies looked far more dangerous in the last 30 minutes following the introduction of new loan signing Dwight Gayle, who struck the post and then the bar either side of Phillips’ ninth goal for West Brom since his move from Queens Park Rangers in 2016.
Whether he meant it or not is another question but Phillips also nearly secured the three points for the Baggies as his cross from deep evaded Forest goalkeeper Costel Pantillimon and bounced back off the crossbar.
But West Brom fans should be pleased with a point against a Forest side built by Aitor Karanka and super agent Jorge Mendes. With Phillips impressing it will allay any fears that Moore will have about Chadli completing a move away from the club on Deadline Day as they have already found the man to step up.