This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
West Bromwich Albion have Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael on their radar should they part ways with Sam Allardyce, according to The Sun on Sunday (18/04, page 67).
Allardyce has a clause in his contract with will see him remain at the Hawthorns should the Baggies avoid relegation, but they sit nine points adrift of safety with seven games remaining.
Should they fail to talk Allardyce into staying, then it is claimed by The Sun on Sunday that Ismael is on Albion’s wishlist.
Ismael has done an outstanding job since taking charge of Barnsley in October, yielding 23 wins from 37 games at the helm.
The Tykes are on course to finish in the play-offs, but could have options elsewhere should they fail to win promotion this term.
Here, we discuss a potential switch to the West Midlands for the Frenchman…
I think this would be a smart appointment by the Baggies.
I’ll admit that I had my doubts as to whether Ismael would succeed in English football with Barnsley, but he’s been brilliant with the Yorkshire-based club.
The Tykes will know that there is likely to be interest in his services if they aren’t promoted into the Premier League this term, and West Brom could be a tempting proposition for the Barnsley boss.
The Baggies will fancy their chances of winning promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking under Ismael’s management, with it looking likely that they’ll be relegated from the Premier League this season.
Ismael could be the ideal manager to lead the club back into the top-flight next season.
This would be a really hard job to turn down.
Valerien Ismael has enjoyed a wonderful season with Barnsley and has the chance to do something remarkable as they prepare for the play-offs.
If they go up it’ll be massive, but if they fall short then there’s no doubt that this would be tempting.
The Baggies are nine points from safety and look set to come down to the Championship but there’s no doubt that a move to West Brom would be a step up.
Better players and a bigger budget will be hugely appealing at a club who will be favourites to go up, and so Barnsley may find it tricky to keep him if they do make a move.
You can call yourself a true Barnsley fan if you get 80% or more correct on this Tykes quiz
It should not come as a surprise to see Ismael attracting interest from sides like West Brom. He has shown he can produce a side that can compete with the best in the Championship despite having less money to spend than other teams around them.
Therefore, he would be an ideal manager for a club like West Brom to bring in if they are aiming for promotion straight back to the top-flight next term. Ismael would be an excellent appointment for the Baggies and would show signs that they are ambitious about getting back up if they are relegated.
However, if Barnsley go up then Ismael would be better off remaining at Oakwell and trying to prove his worth in the Premier League. That seems more beneficial to him than risking his reputation by possibly going to West Brom and maybe struggling to get them back up.
Having said that, West Brom would likely be able offer him more money to spend in the transfer market and potentially more in wages. They also as a club have much more Premier League experience, so that might prove to be something that is difficult to turn down.