The West Bromwich Albion winger hasn’t played regularly this season.
West Bromwich Albion fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Swansea City on Saturday, with the game providing new Baggies manager Alan Pardew with an indication of the scale of the task he faces in attempting to improve the club’s fortunes.
The result means that West Brom have now gone an alarming 14 games without victory in the Premier League and they have some very difficult tests to come, with their next two games pitting them against Liverpool and Manchester United.
When assessing the performance of his team against Swansea, Pardew can’t have failed to notice the lack of pace in the West Brom side, with Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Field, who started out wide against Swansea, both offering little in terms of attacking momentum.
Although West Brom were beaten courtesy of an 81st minute goal from Swansea’s Wilfried Bony, their performance level noticeably increased after the interval following the introduction of James McClean.
McClean has been unable to hold down a regular starting berth for West Brom this season – he has been involved from the outset on just two occasions – with the fact that he hasn’t scored or provided an assist in the Premier League surely one of the main reasons behind that.
The Republic of Ireland international hasn’t started a league game since the victory over Burnley in August and only managed to score once in the top flight last season.
However, McClean’s game is about other qualities aside from goals – he possesses pace in abundance and his directness can cause difficulty for opponents and provide West Brom with some much-needed momentum.
Pardew should consider starting McClean against Liverpool and United, with the winger capable of taking the game to the opposition.