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 could turn their attention to Valerien Ismael if they fail to land Chris Wilder, according to The Sun.
The Baggies are preparing for life back in the Championship after being relegated this season, and are in need of a new manager with Sam Allardyce leaving.
According to The Sun, Chris Wilder is a contender for the role, but the club could turn their attention to Valerien Ismael if the former Sheffield United boss doesn’t fancy the job at the Hawthorns.
Ismael has enjoyed an excellent first season in English football, guiding Barnsley to the play-off semi-finals before losing to Swansea City on aggregate.
Here, we discuss the potential appointment of Ismael at West Brom…
Undoubtedly Ismael has done a remarkable job at Barnsley this season and his name deserves to come in with a mention of jobs that become available in the Championship and maybe even the lower half of the Premier League.
West Brom need a manager that can galvanise the players after their relegation from the Premier League, and that is something that Ismael has proven he can do during his time in charge of Barnsley for sure. He is someone that maximised the quality he had within his squad at Barnsley and if he were to do that with the better quality of player the Baggies have then that would lead to success.
However, there might be one or two concerns over the same approach and style of play that he has deployed at Barnsley would work with West Brom’s squad. They are a side who would be expected to dominate the ball in the Championship next term. Having said that, Ismael is a good enough coach to adapt his methods to suit a different environment.
For me, this would be a very strong appointment from West Brom. Ismael is a manager that is going places and he would have the pedigree from his playing days and from his time in charge at Barnsley to get players at the Hawthorns fully buying into his approach.
I think that this would be the perfect appointment for West Brom.
The Baggies will be looking for a manager to come in and get a tune out of the squad who are currently in place at the Hawthorns, and Valerien Ismael could be ideal to do that.
West Brom have played a physical, direct style under Big Sam this term and so it would make sense to bring in a boss who will carry on in that style.
With Ismael enjoying a wonderful season with Barnsley I think that a move to a bigger club will be fully deserved and so if West Brom came knocking I think that he is owed the chance to discuss it.
This seems like an ideal fit for both Ismael and West Brom and so I’d love to see this one happen.
West Brom quiz: Does The Hawthorns have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
Considering what he’s done with Barnsley in such a short amount of time, I think Ismael is the perfect candidate for West Brom and he should be ahead of Chris Wilder in the pecking order of their target list.
Credit to Wilder for the 2019/20 season he had with Sheffield United in the Premier League but I don’t feel as though he could go into a club like the Baggies and produce the same kind of results – I think he’s suited to certain clubs and West Brom wouldn’t fit into that category for me.
However I think Ismael could get the best out of what West Brom will have left of their squad next season as you assume the likes of Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone will move on to other Premier League clubs or into the top flight of an overseas league.
The Frenchman likes to play a high-pressing 3-4-3 and he would certainly have the attacking talent on his books to do just that – the likes of Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant, who have both been prolific in the Championship recently, can lead the line for him and then through the team you’ve got very good players like Semi Ajayi, Grady Diangana and the experience of Jake Livermore.
Not many managers could transform Barnsley like Ismael did and I feel as though he’d jump at the chance to swap Oakwell for The Hawthorns if given the opportunity.