Mowbray backs Valero to shine

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Tony Mowbray is convinced record signing Borja Valero will have a major part to play in West Brom's future once he has fully adapted to all the demands of the Barclays Premier League.

Mowbray splashed out £4.75million to sign the 23-year-old play-maker from Real Mallorca and although the former Real Madrid player has taken time to adjust to the pace and physical power of the Premier League Mowbray has no doubts over his ability.

He said: "I love watching Borja. He is my type of footballer and I am looking forward to him having a long career here and playing a part in our success as we move along."

He added: "He undoubtedly has to adapt to the physicality of the league.

"But, in my eyes, football is all about entertaining supporters and this kid is someone who gives the ball to his team-mates, sees forward passes and picks the right weight of pass.

"I also like people smashing into tackles but he is here to fill the role he was bought for, which is to pass and knit things together.

"Is he doing that? Yes. Is he challenging everybody, winning 50-50s and crunching people? No, because that's not what he was brought here for.

"I play him in a role where he can get the ball and make things happen and play where the ball is."

Mowbray has also been impressed at Valero's willingness to break down any language barriers by taking extra language lessons.

He said: "Borja is doing well. I can already hold half a conversation with him and he is working hard. Him and his wife are both working very hard at learning the language and they are taking extra lessons at home rather than just doing the ones that we provide as a club. They are very committed to making sure the language isn't something that will hold them back."

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West Bromwich Albion
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