JAMES McCLEAN has vowed to remain ‘110 per cent’ committed to West Brom this season but admits he would be open to a summer move should he fail to force his way into Alan Pardew’s plans.
The Republic of Ireland winger was the subject of an undisclosed bid from promotion hopefuls, Derby County in the closing days of the January Transfer Window.
However, the Baggies rebuffed that offer and slapped a £15 million valuation on the Creggan man, forcing the Rams to end their pursuit.
McClean’s priority remains with West Brom but he’s growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of first team action over the past 18 months and didn’t rule out a potential summer transfer away from the Hawthorns if it proved the ‘right fit’ and provided him with regular first team football.
The Derry man has made 25 appearances this season - 16 of those coming from the substitutes’ bench - and he reckons the club aren’t getting the best out of him in his current bit-part role.
“I want regular football, wherever that may be. If it’s the right fit for me and it provides me with regular football then I’m open to anything,” said McClean who has made six starts since Pardew replaced Tony Pulis as manager.
I just want to play football whether that’s at West Brom or not. While I’m at West Brom for however long that may be, I’ll give everything for the cause like I always do.James McClean
“I just want to play football. I’m 28 now and the last 18 months have been really frustrating. I feel that I’m at my best when I get a run of games. I feel that’s eluded me this past 18 months when I would get a few games and then the team is changed for whatever reason.”
The former Sunderland and Wigan Athletic winger refused to dwell on the collapsed transfer to Derby and is hoping he can now play a bigger role in the Baggies’ bid to avoid the drop.
“Ideally I’d rather play week-in, week-out at West Brom but that hasn’t been the case at the minute. I’ll work hard like I always do but, for me, regular football is the be all and end all.
“We’re in a relegation fight now at West Brom and we need everyone pulling the same direction. I’ll give 110 per cent while I’m at West Brom to make sure we get the best results possible,” he stressed.
Rams boss, Gary Rowett was keen to add McClean to bring some attacking flair to Derby’s promotion chase but when Albion rejected the approach outright, Pardew later said the 28 year-old Derry man was a key member of his squad.
“There was no loan offer from Derby. It was a permanent deal but it didn’t materialise,” confirmed McClean. “West Brom had their value and I’m not in the game to dictate my value - that’s up to clubs to do.
“I think West Brom wanted £15 million but Derby weren’t prepared to pay that whether I think that’s wrong or not, it’s not up to me to say.
“I just want to play football whether that’s at West Brom or not. While I’m at West Brom for however long that may be, I’ll give everything for the cause like I always do.
“If I move on in the summer, no matter where I go, I’ll always give my all. I can’t dwell on it (Derby’s failed bid).The move didn’t happen. If you dwell on things that don’t happen, moves and what not, it’s gone so there’s no point dwelling on it. We’re in a dogfight and I’m ready to play my part. We need everyone fighting and pulling in the same direction.”
McClean was a second half substitute in West Brom’s Premier League defeat to Southampton at the Hawthorns last Saturday which has left the Baggies languishing at the foot of the table.
“The squad is good enough to get out of trouble but you need to be careful because there’s been a lot of good squads that have gone down and shouldn’t have gone down.
“We’re running out of games now and need to back it up on the pitch by showing how good we are and getting results.”