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Winger Callum McManaman finds himself in a difficult situation at West Bromwich Albion. The 26-year old hasn’t played for the Baggies in over a year and was widely tipped to be sold in the summer ahead of the season.
However, following an appearance in a pre-season friendly against Burton Albion, things may well be taking a turn for the winger. Following the game, West Brom manager Tony Pulis spoke about his situation and said (as quoted by Birmingham Mail):
“We’ll see. Callum [McManaman] is desperate to play. We’ll see what happens in the (transfer) window then we’ll take it from there.”
The former England youth international was signed by the Baggies in January 2015 for a fee of £4.75 million from Wigan Athletic, after he had impressed heavily with 5 goals in 23 games for the Latics and was Pulis’ first signing as in-charge of the club (BBC Sport). But things have hardly gone well for the 26-year old since his move to the Hawthorns as he struggled to nail down a place in the squad.
McManaman made 10 appearances in his first season with the Baggies, managing a single assist and made only 15 more in the entire 2015/16 season, registering 2 assists. He spent the first half of last season with the West Brom reserves, before moving out on loan to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in January this year. He made 12 appearances for the Owls, registering 2 assists as they finished in the top six in the Championship, earning a place in the playoffs. The 26-year old’s last appearance for West Brom came on 16 April, 2016 in a 1-0 loss to Watford.
A graduate from the Everton academy, McManaman is primarily a right winger, who can play on the left-hand side, and also as an auxiliary striker. He may have not been able to carve out a place in Pulis’ team, but his performance against Burton Albion had a lot of positives. And he had shown in his Wigan days that he can be a more than decent option to have in the ranks as well.
With Matt Phillips, James McClean, Nacer Chadli and Chris Brunt available as options in the wide areas for West Brom, there isn’t a lot of space there. But given that Pulis has looked to use Brunt in a left-back role or in a central midfield role, and Phillips’ injury record, having an additional option in the squad in the form of McManaman wouldn’t be the worst option.
The Birmingham Mail claims that there aren’t any offers yet for the 26-year old, who has just a year left on his contract. Even if there are any offers, it is unlikely that West Brom would stand to make a lot from his sale either. Considering that Pulis has deemed it fit to involve him in the pre-season, an extended run in the first-team should be considered as he has the potential to be a good squad player.