West Brom must target eight-goal captain available on free if 45-year-old becomes manager - TBR View
After plenty of twists and turns, West Brom appear to be edging closer to perhaps finding Sam Allardyce’s successor as they target Valerien Ismael.
According to The Athletic this week, the Baggies are in talks with Barnsley over a potential move for the 45-year-old.
There are still hurdles to clear. The Athletic notes that the Tykes will be owed £2 million in compensation if he does move to the Hawthorns.
And of course, West Brom’s search has been anything but straightforward thus far. So you could understand if supporters were not getting carried away until an official announcement has been made.
If Ismael is the man for West Brom, the Baggies are potentially signing up for quite the change in direction.
Barnsley enjoyed an incredible year in the Championship. And their success came from implementing a direct brand of football that seemed to take most teams by surprise.
Having taken them to the play-offs, Ismael will surely want to do something similar with the Baggies.
With the quality that they possess, West Brom have the potential to run away with the league next year.
However, implementing his style may not be simple either. And Ismael may be keen to use the transfer market to bring in players who suit his system.
With that in mind, surely the first name on West Brom’s wishlist if Ismael gets the job has to be Alex Mowatt.
Mowatt the perfect target for West Brom
West Brom are unlikely to spend huge amounts of money this summer. They were reserved in their spending while back in the Premier League. So they are surely going to be reluctant to splash the cash now.
A move for Mowatt therefore, arguably makes so much sense.
The 26-year-old was outstanding last season. He scored eight goals and provided seven assists in the second tier.
Mowatt looks to have his career back on track after going off the boil somewhat in the years following his emergence at Leeds.
And Ismael has been crucial to that. Last year was, by far, the best return for goals and assists of his career to date.
And interestingly, he is currently set to be out of contract this summer. As reported by the Yorkshire Post, Ismael wants Mowatt to stay at Oakwell.
But if Ismael moves on, Barnsley’s task of keeping the midfielder will surely be much tougher.
And on a free transfer, West Brom have to see if they can bring Mowatt with Ismael.
It could be a masterstroke.
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