New West Brom manager Valerien Ismael is hoping club legend James Morrison will return to the Hawthorns in a coaching capacity this summer according to the Express and Star, with the Frenchman set to finalise his backroom team.
35-year-old Morrison made 341 appearances for the club between 2007 and 2019 – and retired just months after being released from West Brom to take up an academy coaching role at the Hawthorns.
But after Sam Allardyce’s appointment last December, he was promoted to the senior squad as a first-team coach and Ismael is seemingly keen on keeping hold of the 35-year-old.
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Morrison appeared regularly for the Baggies in both the Premier League and the Championship throughout his 12-year playing career in the West Midlands after joining from Middlesbrough – and the new boss will be hoping this experience can translate into coaching expertise as West Brom aim for promotion once again.
After being relegated last year, this is their primary objective under a man who did a remarkable job at Oakwell last season and his achievements with Barnsley have raised Baggies’ fans expectations ahead of the new season, where they will face Scott Parker’s AFC Bournemouth on the opening day.
As per the same report from the Express and Star, Ismael is also hoping to add two more coaches to his backroom team as he prepares to meet his new players on Thursday for pre-season training.
Although there needs to be changes after West Brom’s relegation with Sam Allardyce’s appointment not working out, there also needs to be stability within both the playing staff and the coaching team – and the re-appointment of Morrison will provide that in the latter.
He could potentially be key in keeping Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira at the Hawthorns this summer as two players he knows very well, with both being linked with moves away this summer amid Premier League interest.
But the respect he commands from all squad members after spending 12 years playing for the club is the most important thing here – and he will be able to give new manager Ismael some pointers on how certain players tick and how to get the very best out of his squad.
With the Frenchman being appointed just before the start of pre-season, the 35-year-old could be key to a smooth transition.