His likely appointment will end a month-long search for a new man to take the hot seat, which included several rejections and the club’s former Director of Football leaving the club.
However, with the 45-year-old manager taking current side Barnsley from being relegation battlers to promotion challengers, ending up in the playoffs before being knocked out by Swansea City, there is a lot of excitement at this potential announcement.
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One excited man is former Albion forward Kevin Campbell, who believes this is a smart move from the club’s board after seeing Ismael’s Barnsley in action last season. Speaking about how impressed he was with their playing style and how he will fare with the Baggies, he told Football Insider: “I really like him.
“He is really positive in everything that he does. His teams go for it and that is always a good thing.
“That Barnsley side only just survived a couple of seasons ago and last season they are in the play-offs. It was a remarkable turnaround.
“I have been in and around there with my son so I have watched them a fair few times in person and I like what I saw from him and his team.
“I think he will do an amazing job at West Brom. In my opinion, it would be a very smart appointment.”
If he joins, Ismael will have a lot to sort out and is likely to be given full control over incomings and outgoings with a change of strategy at the club. Although several senior players including Kieran Gibbs and Hal Robson-Kanu have already left the club for free this summer, the departures are unlikely to stop there with interest in some of their key players and Rekeem Harper also set to depart.
Even though results will be key at the Hawthorns next season if they want to win promotion back to the Premier League, performances will also be important and Campbell obviously believes Ismael’s positivity will be popular with Baggies fans.
However, it’s no secret the Frenchman was preparing for the next campaign with Barnsley before this approach from West Brom and he will have a big job on his hands if he’s to sort out departures, bring in some of his own players and implement his philosophy at the club successfully before the start of the next campaign.
West Brom’s slow progress hasn’t helped this situation – but compared to some of the other names being bandied around – this appointment is likely to satisfy supporters who will be expecting big things from him next season if the deal goes through.