​West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez believes that new signing Gareth Barry could be vital to the side. 

Speaking to the ​Express and Star the former Southampton striker said: "His record speaks for itself."

"Look at how many games he’s played at the top of the Premier League. He’s a great footballer and when you do come up against him, you know about it." 

Barry has had a long Premier League career, playing 771 games. He began his career at Aston Villa where he was for 12 seasons before joining Manchester City in 2009. He helped begin City's run of success winning the FA Cup in 2010-11 and the Premier League the following season. 

Barry has spent the last four seasons at Everton and has arrived at the Hawthorns on a one-year deal. 

The 33-year old is a replacement from Darren Fletcher, who has departed for Stoke and Rodriguez thinks he will offer some ballast to the Albion midfield. "I’m guessing he probably has put me down sometimes. You always know when you’re playing against him. 

Port Vale v West Bromwich Albion - Pre-Season Friendly

"He's quite tough. But he controls the game, and he’s a class player. He’ll be good to have on your side." 

Albion manager Tony Pulis has said that signing Barry is not a gamble despite him being three years older than the now departed Fletcher. "We’ve got no doubts about his fitness at all," he said. "We’ve checked out all the data and Gareth was in the top five of midfielders in the Premier League in terms of distance covered." 

West Brom began the new season with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday. They travel to Burnley this weekend before a reunion with Fletcher when Stoke visit The Hawthorns.