Express & Star

Hal Robson-Kanu is top drawer, says Charlie Austin

HAL Robson-Kanu has shown he is a ‘top drawer’ player, according to fellow striker Charlie Austin.

Hal Robson-Kanu of West Bromwich Albion celebrates (AMA)

The former Wales international has led the line for the Baggies in recent weeks, notching four goals in his last six games. His latest came on Saturday, when he opened the scoring in the 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

And Austin, who has lost his place in the team to Robson-Kanu in the last two games, has heaped praise on the 30-year-old.

“Not just in the games but also when he’s come off the bench he has been top drawer,” Austin said.

“He’s been fantastic. He is a great outlet, holding the ball up and scoring goals. As a striker you always want to score goals and Hal is certainly doing that now, helping the team go forward up the pitch.

“He is a top player and deserves all the success he is having so far.”

London-born Robson-Kanu recently revealed he has opened talks with Wales about an international return, after retiring in August 2018.

And Austin believes he still has what it takes to succeed.

“He is certainly still good enough to do that.

“I see it day in and day out, he’s a top player.

“If he goes back to play for Wales, I have no doubt when he agrees to go back playing, he will be in the first squad for sure.”

“I saw the impact he made (at Euro 2016) but it’s not just me who saw that – everybody did.

“Hal is a top player and deserves all the success he gets.

“But it’s not just that. You should see how hard he works and he is top player and more importantly a top human.”

Meanwhile, Gareth Barry has commended manager Slaven Bilic for ‘sticking to his word’ over the midfielder’s contract.

The 38-year-old’s previous deal ended in the summer after he missed the end of last season with a knee injury.

At the beginning of November he signed a new contract with the club and Barry has praised the boss’ character and communication throughout his rehabilitation.

“I heard people speak about him before he came to West Brom,” Barry said.

“There’s always a sign of a character when nobody has had a bad word to say about him.

“He was great (for me) personally.

“Day one he came in here and I had a chat with him straight away.

“He wanted to know what my thoughts were, he was perfectly honest to me and I kept him updated as the season went on.

“He stuck to his word with my situation, so he’s been fantastic.”