West Bromwich Albion centre-back Dara O’Shea has told the club’s website he is looking forward to playing under new boss Valerien Ismael, with the former Barnsley man joining from Oakwell last week.
22-year-old O’Shea came through the Baggies’ youth system and spent time out on loan at Hereford and Exeter City before making his first-team breakthrough – and played an impressive 28 games for the club in the Premier League last season.
Unfortunately, the Irishman was unable to save the club from relegation last season under Sam Allardyce, but with the Frenchman now at the helm, he will be hoping for redemption as they aim to get back to the Premier League.
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Speaking to the club’s official website about Ismael’s arrival, O’Shea was very complimentary about the recently appointed manager and said: “I’m looking forward to playing under our new Head Coach.
“I think it’s exciting when a new Head Coach comes in. He looks very ambitious and he has an identity and a way he wants to play. It all seems good and positive for the club.
“I spoke to him a few days ago on the phone. It sounded really good what he was saying and the way he wants the club to go forward and the way he wants us to play is exciting.”
It’s not only his playing style that is getting fans excited, with West Brom already starting to move for top targets.
According to The Telegraph’s Tom Percy, Alex Mowatt is set to undergo a medical at the Hawthorns this week on the expiry of his current deal at Barnsley and Emiliano Marcondes is also being linked with a move to the West Midlands as per the Express.
With West Brom’s pre-season set to start tomorrow, they will have just over a month to prepare for their opening game of the season against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
There’s no doubting the Baggies’ players will be excited to work under a manager who did so well against the odds last season, so it’s no surprise to hear O’Shea come out with these quotes.
The potential signing of Barnsley midfielder Alex Mowatt has increased excitement further in West Brom’s fanbase and with the 26-year-old’s contract expiring this summer, his free transfer will give Ismael’s side the funds to invest in other areas as well.
And if Ismael and Mowatt can guide Barnsley to a top-six finish, why can’t they take the Baggies to an automatic promotion spot?
If they can get a few signings in and retain some of their most important players before the window closes, it could be a very special season at the Hawthorns.