West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael has identified Grady Diangana and Karlan Grant as two crucial players for the Baggies next season, in an interview with the Express and Star.
23-year-old Diangana joined permanently from West Ham United last summer after impressing on loan during the previous campaign, making 20 appearances in the Premier League last season and scoring just once.
Grant, 23, also joined the club in the 2020 summer window and arrived for a sizeable £15m fee. His record in the top flight last term was similar to Diangana and also scored just once in 21 league displays.
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But despite this poor record, new boss Ismael has full faith in both players to produce the goods next season, with West Brom expected to be pushing for Championship promotion.
Speaking to the Express and Star about a fresh start for the pair and how they could be vital to his system, the 45-year-old said: “I’ve told the guys that we will restart now.
“What happened last season has finished you can’t change what’s gone on.
“So it’s a big, big, season for those two players.
“The two players suit the philosophy exactly and I’ve spoken already with them.
“I have told them they can have a massive part to play this season.
“My job is to make sure they are fit, they stay fit, and they have the right mentality so we can enjoy the two players.”
Diangana and Grant could both be vital players for the Baggies next season, with Ismael expecting to lose fellow attacking threat Matheus Pereira this summer.
Although the Brazilian first joined the side in the Championship back in 2019, his 11 goals and six assists in 33 appearances last term has alerted other clubs to his talent, including Leicester City, West Ham, Leeds United and RB Leipzig and is therefore unlikely to remain in the second tier for much longer.
The possibility of losing reliable goalkeeper Sam Johnstone may also put the onus on the two Albion players to nullify this defensive loss by scoring a hatful of goals next year.
And after failing to make an impact in the Premier League last year, they will need to show what they are made of in the next 12 months.
Their respective 2019/20 campaigns in the second tier shows they can compete at this level, but how will be deal with the weight of expectation with promotion on the cards? That remains to be seen.
Grant scored 19 times for Huddersfield during that season with Diangana also excelling, making 15 goal contributions at The Hawthorns as he led West Brom to the Premier League.
Because of this, Ismael is right to give the pair another chance and if they can quickly adapt to the former Barnsley manager’s system, they could be priceless assets to have in the West Midlands next season.