This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Alex Mowatt is set to undergo a medical later this week ahead of his expected move to Championship side West Bromwich Albion, according to The Telegraph’s John Percy.
The Barnsley captain, 26, excelled under new Baggies boss Valerien Ismael last season as Barnsley climbed to the dizzying heights of fifth in the Championship table, eventually losing out to Swansea in the play-off semi-final.
Despite having a very successful season, the Tykes have not been able to renew his contract and with Ismael now at promotion favourites West Brom, Mowatt is now set to jump ship and link up with his former boss on a free transfer.
Quiz: What was the score the last time West Brom played each of these 25 teams?
But with Matheus Pereira still at the club and former Brentford attacking midfielder Emiliano Marcondes also linked with a move to the Hawthorns, there are doubts over whether the 26-year-old will be able to nail down a starting spot in the West Midlands. A spot in a more defensive position in midfield could provide that starting place he will crave.
We asked a few members of our FLW writing team whether they think he’d be one of the first names on the teamsheet.
I would expect him to feature pretty regularly if he does make the move to The Hawthorns.
Having seen Okay Yokuslu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loans with the Baggies expire at the end of last season, there are voids to be filled in the centre of West Brom’s midfield next season.
That is something that Mowatt has already shown he is more than capable of doing at Championship level in taking Barnsley to an unexpected play-off place last season, and that ought to match with the Baggies’ aim of promotion back to the Premier League next year.
Indeed, Mowatt and new West Brom manager Valerien Ismael obviously know each other well from their time as Barnsley, and given that demonstrated that the new Baggies boss is able to get the best out of him, it would make sense to try and exploit that if this deal does get completed.
As a result, if Mowatt is to join West Brom this summer, I would be surprised if we do not see him consistently in the Baggies’ XI moving forward.
Absolutely, without a doubt.
The midfield is the weak area in the West Brom team, with Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers both unconvincing last season, which is why the midfield trio ended up being made up of three on-loan players.
Therefore, at least two new midfield recruits are required and Mowatt would be a fantastic signing when you consider he is a free transfer. Ismael knows the player, he brings quality on the ball that the side lack and is a leader too.
It could potentially be one of the deals of the summer and not only will he be in the XI from the off but he will be a crucial player for the Baggies as they try to win promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
He’s got to be.
Mowatt, for me, is one of the best midfielders in the division and has every attribute you’d want from a midfielder.
He can score goals, spot a killer pass and put in a tackle or two. He’s an aggressive player but he channels that well and has been so integral for Barnsley in recent years.
More importantly from an Albion perspective, he is Ismael’s man. The Frenchman knows how to get the best out of him and trusts him too, and I think he’ll be a regular starter next season.
There is a lot of competition for places though, especially in the likes of Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore, but Ismael and Mowatt are a match made in heaven and I can see the Frenchman relying a lot on him next term.