West Bromwich Albion boss Valerien Ismael has revealed midfielder Alex Mowatt is on course to return to action after the international break, providing the latest injury update to Birmingham Live.
Mowatt, 26, who has missed the Baggies’ last four fixtures with a foot injury and hasn’t been seen since the West Midlands derby against Birmingham City in the middle of last month, has been a regular first-team player at The Hawthorns since his arrival in the summer.
Working with manager Ismael at Barnsley last term as the Tykes managed to transform themselves from relegation favourites to promotion contenders, the former left Oakwell at the end of June after being approached for the West Brom vacancy.
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And after missing out on promotion as they fell at the penultimate hurdle to Swansea City in the play-offs, Mowatt linked up with his old boss in the West Midlands just over a week later, arriving at the club on the expiration of his contract at the Baggies’ Championship rivals.
He has already made a big impression at the recently-relegated side despite his recent injury troubles, appearing as one of the first names on the teamsheet alongside captain Jake Livermore, losing just one of the 12 league games he’s been involved in this term and scoring three times.
The 26-year-old won’t be fit enough to return this weekend – but he is progressing well according to manager Ismael who revealed he made a big breakthrough in his recovery in training yesterday.
He said: “Alex Mowatt looks good.
“He trained Friday morning, he did the next step, so now if everything goes right he will be back after the international break.”
The second-tier club’s opening tie after the international interval comes against Huddersfield Town on 20th November, a clash Yorkshire-born Mowatt will be desperate to be involved in.
Mowatt has been exceptional for West Brom so far and that’s not only credit to his ability, but also due to the fact they were able to sign him on the expiration of his contract at Barnsley.
As one of Ismael’s key men at Oakwell, it would have been no surprise to see West Brom make a bid for him if he was still contracted to the Tykes.
But the fact he doesn’t have a price tag attached to him has helped to minimise expectations and the pressure on the 26-year-old, allowing him to play freely and it has certainly shown in his performances.
This is why his arrival at The Hawthorns has to be classed as one of the EFL signings of the summer – and looking at their results with him in the team – he looks to be a key player in their quest to promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
That’s no real surprise considering the midfielder has already had a headstart over his teammates in terms of learning their manager’s system and demands – but the fact he’s taken the step up to a recently relegated side so seamlessly has to be commended.