West Bromwich Albion have confirmed the appointment of Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael as their new head coach. Ismael has signed a four-year deal with the Baggies as they look to secure promotion back to the Premier League.
Valerien Ismael Confirmed New West Bromwich Albion Manager
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) June 24, 2021
Former Barnsley Boss Makes West Brom Move
The Midlands club have met to the £2 million release clause that has allowed Ismael to leave Barnsley and move to the Hawthorns.
Sky Sports also reported in May that Steve Cooper of Swansea City and Frank Lampard had also been under consideration for the role to replace Sam Allardyce, who left at the end of the 2020/21 Premier League season following the club’s relegation to the Championship.
Positive First Season for Ismael
Ismael has managed Wolfsburg and had a positive impact in his first season in charge at Oakwell, leading the South Yorkshire club to the play-offs where they eventually lost out to Swansea. Other clubs that he has managed include Apollon Smyrnis in Greece and Austrian side LASK.
The fifth-place finish was well above expectations at Barnsley and it thrust him into the limelight. He is a manager that likes to work with young players and plays a direct and very energetic style of football.
West Brom CEO Xu Ke said of Ismael’s appointment: “I am delighted to welcome Valérien to The Hawthorns. Valérien has established a reputation as an excellent coach and I have been impressed by his professionalism, enthusiasm and hunger to succeed. His performance last season with Barnsley, and his coaching career to date, all point to a man who has a long, successful career in front of him. It is my hope that he is with us for at least the next four years.
“I am confident that by working together we will be able to achieve our goal of returning to the Premier League, but success is earned by building on strong foundations, and our plans must now look further into the future. For too long we have focused only on what is immediately in front of us. This means we have often neglected our long-term aspirations.
“We are all aware of what will be required in order to be successful and player recruitment will be of the utmost importance. Valérien and I will immediately focus on preparing the squad for the new season, working together with Ian Pearce, our Head of Recruitment, to secure talented transfer targets who will strengthen us for the challenges ahead, ensuring fans are once more proud to support this great club.
“I am excited to be working with Valérien and I am sure we will soon establish a strong relationship that will be to the benefit of the football club and its supporters.”