Recently relegated West Bromwich Albion are looking to bring Michael Appleton back to The Hawthorns as their new manager, according to Football Insider.
The Baggies and Sam Allardyce parted company with each other following confirmation of the club’s Championship status for the 2021-22 season, and the search immediately got underway for the former England boss’ successor.
For a week it’s looked like that man would be Chris Wilder – the man who led Sheffield United to ninth in the Premier League in 2020 – but after being locked in talks the deal to bring him in has reportedly fallen through.
The West Brom board have now moved on to 45-year-old Appleton, who is currently at Lincoln City and is well-known at The Hawthorns, having played 31 league games for them in 2001 before a knee injury cut short his career.
Appleton also coached at the club in both a senior and youth team capacity before moving on to forge his own managerial career, and he almost guided the Imps into the Championship themselves for next season but they were denied in the play-off final by Blackpool.
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Contact has been made with Appleton according to Football Insider, and he’s apparently keen to return to the Baggies if the opportunity arises – which it now looks very likely indeed.
Some West Brom fans may see this as a step down from appointing a Wilder or a Frank Lampard, but Appleton may be a better option than both in some ways.
Quite a few clubs now are going for managers that have some kind of past connection to the club – some have success and others don’t – but Appleton has developed into a really good coach, especially of younger players.
His managerial career may not have gotten off to the best start with his spells at Blackburn and Blackpool, but he’s done enough at Oxford and Lincoln to have Championship clubs interested and I have a feeling that Baggies fans will accept Appleton as their new man should talks go well.