West Brom finally appear to be making progress in the hunt for a new manager, after it was revealed that they are targeting Valérien Ismaël for the vacancy.
The Barnsley boss has a growing reputation after the fine work he has done at Oakwell and Telegraph reporter John Percy has confirmed he’s the one Albion want to succeed Sam Allardyce.
Crucially, the update also states that the Baggies will be willing to pay the £2m compensation to get the deal sorted, so there shouldn’t be many problems if that’s the case.
The opportunity to join the recently relegated side will appeal to the Frenchman and here we look at THREE issues that Ismael would have to sort ASAP if he does take over…
The future of key men
As with most clubs who suffer relegation, Albion are vulnerable in terms of keeping a few key players at The Hawthorns.
Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira are the two obvious ones who will have admirers in the Premier League and Ismael would ideally want their futures sorted straight away.
He will want to know who he can work with moving forward and what sort of budget he has when it comes to strengthening the squad. The potential sales of Johnstone and Pereira will be key to that.
Perhaps the main area that Ismael will need to address in terms of the playing squad is the midfield.
Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers endured tough seasons in the top-flight, whilst the three loan players that ended the campaign in midfield won’t return.
So, at least one central midfielder will be needed and Albion won’t want to miss out on any targets.
Who suits his formation
Finally, Ismael will need to decide which formation he wants to go with and then which players suit that style.
He generally went with a back 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 at Barnsley, but that could be problematic to some of the more influential players at West Brom, such as Grady Diangana.
So, he needs to quickly pick an approach and work out who is needed, because the start of the season is quickly coming around.