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Valerien Ismael sets stance on West Brom outcast amid Daryl Dike and Liam Delap rumours



West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael has hinted striker Kenneth Zohore could still be a part of his first-team plans this season, speaking to Birmingham Live.

The Danish 27-year-old has endured a frustrating spell at The Hawthorns since his arrival in 2019, scoring five times in just 20 competitive appearances for the Baggies in two years and being sent out on loan to Millwall last October.

However, he failed to make the desired impact at The Den, appearing in just 17 Championship games for the Lions in his season-long spell and scoring a mediocre two goals in the process as he suffered from injuries during his time in the capital.

Quiz: Do you remember which player scored West Brom’s first goal in each of the last 15 seasons?

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This is a disappointing turn of events for a man who first arrived in the United Kingdom back in January 2016, joining Cardiff City on a loan spell from Belgian side KV Kortrijk before making the move permanent that summer.

He recorded a total of 35 goal contributions in 101 competitive appearances for the Bluebirds and with this, secured himself an £8m move to the Baggies. But thus far, this move hasn’t worked out despite several managerial changes and the forward will be hoping he gets another chance under new boss Ismael.

The 27-year-old’s prayers may have been answered if the Frenchman’s quotes are anything to go by, despite having initial reservations about Zohore’s suitability in his current system.

Speaking to Birmingham Live about the striker, he said: “Ken (Zohore) I have to say, over the last two weeks, has raised his intensity for sure.

“At the beginning we had some concerns about whether he can play at that intensity and buy in, but the last two weeks and the game against Birmingham show that we are on the right way with him.

“Strikers of that type you will need in the Championship, he can help us. He can score goals. He has the quality and he is part of the process.

“It’s up to him now to put the performances in on the pitch. My job, with the staff, is to make sure that he has the clarity in his head to know exactly what he has to do. I hope he can confirm what we have seen over the last two weeks.”

The West Midlands side have been linked with a number of strikers recently, including Daryl Dike, Liam Delap and Andre Gray. But after this latest development and the forward playing a small part in their 2-2 draw against AFC Bournemouth last Friday, Kenneth Zahore could now emerge as another option up top.

The Verdict:

With Mbaye Diagne returning to Galatasaray on the expiration of his loan spell and a clear lack of options in the centre forward department, having Zohore there as a possible option can only be a boost for West Brom who need as much depth as they can get if they want to return to the Premier League.

At 27, there’s still time for the Danish forward to re-establish himself as a leading goalscorer in the second tier and after spending £8m on him just a couple of years ago, they shouldn’t give up on him just yet if Ismael thinks he can play an important role.

One of the reasons why the 45-year-old was so successful last season was due to the fact he managed to get the very best out of his players – and if he can do the same for Zohore – it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him hit double figures in the goals tally this season.

He may not start every week if someone like Dike or Delap comes in, but he could still be a useful asset off the bench with his pace and strength in attack, helping to give the Baggies a different option going forward.

The 27-year-old showed what he could do at Cardiff City, now is the time for him to reignite his career in England.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Valerien Ismael sets stance on West Brom outcast amid Daryl Dike and Liam Delap rumours

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