West Brom have confirmed that Gareth Barry is set to leave The Hawthorns at the end of his contract this summer, and that is going to be a big mistake by technical director Luke Dowling.
Albion announced on their official website on Friday that the 38-year-old midfielder has not been offered fresh terms by the club and is heading for the exit alongside Boaz Myhill, Tyrone Mings and Wes Hoolahan.
However Dowling has hinted that the door has not been completely closed on Barry and those who have not been offered new deals.
He told West Brom’s official website: “They’ve been great pros. They’re at an age and stage in their careers where we have to offer them contracts by the third Saturday in May, it’s the rules and regulations. We have to do that with any out-of-contract player.
“But the door won’t be completely shut to them because we’ll wait for me to have a conversation with the new Head Coach to see if he would like them to be part of his plans next season. If he does then negotiations will start if they haven’t signed for another club.”
Even though he has missed the last couple of months with injury, the ex-England international has been one of West Brom’s best central midfielders over the course of the season.
He made 24 appearances in the Championship and West Brom only lost four times when he was on the pitch, and two of them were against teams that finished higher than Albion in Sheffield United and Leeds.
He was also Albion’s second-most successful tackler if you don’t include the defenders and all of his years of experience would certainly have an impact on the younger players in the squad like Harper and Sam Field.
West Brom are bound to undergo a major change in the summer but one player who really should not be going anywhere is Barry, who still has plenty to offer despite his advancing years.