West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael has hailed midfielder Alex Mowatt as a ‘massive player’ for the Baggies since his arrival in the summer, speaking to the club’s media team after their 4-0 hammering of Cardiff City last night.
The 26-year-old got himself in and amongst the goals again last theme, a key theme of his time at West Brom so far, as he struck home an outstanding volley from the edge of the area to grab the West Midlands side’s third goal and all but seal their victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.
This was his third goal in ten league games for his new side, recording one assist with plenty more still to come after registering an impressive 15 goal contributions in the Championship for Barnsley last term.
Quiz: Have West Brom ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
The former Tykes captain was one man who thrived under Valerien Ismael at Oakwell last term, playing a key part both on and off the pitch for the South Yorkshire side as they rose from 21st to fifth in just a matter of months and putting them within three games of sealing their promotion to the Premier League.
After Barnsley’s failure to win promotion, following their play-off semi-finals defeat against Swansea City in May, Ismael was poached by a then-recently-relegated West Brom side at the end of June and the 26-year-old followed him through the door at The Hawthorns the following week.
He has started in every one of the Baggies’ ten games so far this season despite the arrival of Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Jayson Molumby – and looks set to continue as one of the first names on the teamsheet after making such a positive impact.
Speaking about the midfielder after last night’s game, West Brom boss Ismael said: “I told Alex Mowatt after the game ‘thank you for the present’ (the goal). It was quality.
“I think in a short time, after 10 games, he has already showed his quality.
“He is a massive player for us, for the club. We are very lucky and happy that he plays for us.”
Alex Mowatt has to be the signing of the summer in the EFL, or if not, one of the best.
Everything just worked out so perfectly for West Brom. After appointing Ismael at the end of June after such a long managerial search, it still gave the Frenchman the opportunity to poach his former captain at Barnsley who he knew very well already from his time at Oakwell.
Much of the attention in South Yorkshire was on Daryl Dike after coming in mid-season and becoming a prolific figure up top for the Tykes, but Mowatt’s presence in the middle of the park must not be underestimated and he looks to have settled in very well at The Hawthorns.
This is the sort of signing that can get you promotion – and with an arguably limited amount of depth in midfield despite the further addition of Jayson Molumby – it’s imperative they keep him fit.
Thankfully for the Baggies, the international break is coming up so they can look after him during the interval after this Friday’s game against Stoke City. But he missed just two league games during his three latter seasons at Barnsley, playing in all 46 Championship matches last term, so keeping him fit shouldn’t be an issue.