West Brom have recently announced that Valerien Ismael is their new manager, after impressing with fellow Championship side Barnsley in the 2020/21 season.
It had previously been reported by The Express & Star that a compensation fee of £2million had been agreed between both clubs to secure a deal for Ismael’s signature at The Hawthorns.
West Brom will be hoping that he can make an immediate impact with them, as they target promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Ismael guided Barnsley into the play-off places last term, before they were beaten by Swansea City in their Championship play-off semi-final.
In his recent column with West Brom News, former Baggies forward Kevin Phillips reacted to the news of Ismael’s arrival at The Hawthorns, and was pleased to see his former side pay the compensation fee to secure a deal for the the 45-year-old.
“They’re not going to let a couple of million quid get in the way of getting their man so it’s good to see. Barnsley will obviously be gutted he’s left but it’s a new challenge for him.
“It’s good to know that the club are serious. They want to bounce back, there have been a few departures in the background in the last month or so.
“Bringing him in now, knowing they’ve paid that compensation, will be a big boost to everyone. I bet he can’t wait to get going.”
West Brom are set to take on AFC Bournemouth in their opening match of the 2021/22 season, in what is likely to be a tricky test for the Baggies.
What was the score when West Brom last played these 25 teams?
I have to agree with Phillips here in saying that West Brom are certainly ambitious.
I’m slightly surprised that they didn’t target a move for Ismael earlier into the summer, as they went in search of finding Sam Allardyce’s permanent successor ahead of the 2021/22 league campaign.
You have to pay for quality at this level, and I think the Baggies have found that with Ismael, as he’s shown how big of an impact he can make with a team in a relatively short space of time.
He’ll be inheriting a more experienced side with West Brom though, and I seriously think they’ve got an excellent chance of winning promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking this term with him in charge.