Former West Brom striker and pundit Kevin Phillips has listed some of the key benefits of bringing Alex Mowatt to the Hawthorns in an exclusive with West Brom News, with the Barnsley midfielder set to link up with old boss Valerien Ismael.
26-year-old Mowatt’s contract at Oakwell expires this summer – but is unlikely to sign a new deal with the Tykes and according to The Telegraph’s John Percy – he is set to have a medical in the West Midlands later this week before officially joining the Baggies.
The midfielder recorded seven goals and eight assists in the Championship last season as club captain – and was a key part of Ismael’s remarkable Barnsley transformation. With this, West Brom are said to have won the race for his signature and will make Mowatt their first signing of the summer after their lengthy managerial search came to an end last week.
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Fellow attacking midfielder Matheus Pereira has been linked with a move away from the Hawthorns in the last couple of months, which is no surprise considering he made 17 goal contributions in the Premier League last season.
Although Mowatt could be seen as a potential replacement for the Brazilian, playing the two together next season if the latter stays could cause carnage in the Championship and help to guide the Baggies to promotion once again.
With this signing now likely to happen, former West Brom forward Kevin Phillips has delivered his verdict on the imminent move and is impressed by this bit of business.
Speaking to West Brom News about the 26-year-old, he said: “If you get him for nothing then it’s a good signing.
“He’s got experience, he’s been around a while, he knows the manager, he’s probably not going to cost an awful lot in wages – it might be a good addition.
“It is an area that West Brom want some cover in because it’s a long season.
“If you can nick one without paying a fee then it could turn out to be a good signing.”
Many people are likely to be in agreement with Phillips over this signing, especially with Mowatt knowing the West Brom boss so well. He may want a slightly higher wage because of the club’s recent participation in the Premier League – but this extra expenditure is worth it and will be much cheaper than splashing out on a new forward.
Daryl Dike was another name on the Baggies’ shortlist even before Ismael joined – and they could now be preparing a bid to submit to Orlando City now they have their new man in place. The 21-year-old was on loan at Oakwell in the second half of the last campaign and scored an impressive nine goals in 19 Championship appearances.
If they can get the likes of Mowatt and another free signing in Emiliano Marcondes over the line, they could have the funds to spend millions on a player like Dike, although the £18m price tag previously inserted into Barnsley’s loan agreement is likely to be out of Ismael’s range without cashing in one or two of his own prized assets.