Valerien Ismael is close to completing his first signing as manager of West Bromwich Albion. Joseph Masi of the Express & Star reports that Alex Mowatt is close to signing from Barnsley and will follow Ismael from Oakwell to the Hawthorns.
The midfielder will reportedly undergo a medical on Thursday this week, the same day his contract with Barnsley officially expires.
Alex Mowatt Close to West Brom Move
Primary Target for Ismael
Mowatt is a player that Ismael will know well after he was key in the Tykes’ stunning run to the Championship play-offs last season. This will no doubt be a key factor in West Brom’s interest – signing a player with proven Championship experience without paying a transfer fee.
The midfielder scored eight goals and assisted a further seven last season, while his energy in midfield was a vital cog in the wheel for Ismael’s high-tempo style of play.
Masi reports that other clubs in the Championship were keen on signing Mowatt too, including Barnsley making him an offer to stay, but Ismael’s move to West Brom and the chance to work with the Frenchman again has lured him away from the Yorkshire club.
Mowatt said of the manager during last season: “The first game that the gaffer came in, we won 3-0 [against Queens Park Rangers] and everyone bought into him straight away. He is a big presence and he is scary at times … but he has only lost his head once or twice. He wants to win every single game. He is the same in training as well.
“I have really enjoyed working with him. Training is intense and he doesn’t take any crap from the lads. That’s shown in the games as well. All the players respect the gaffer, he’s a big scary lad.”