West Brom transfer news: Valerien Ismael set to seal first Baggies signing of the summer

Valerien Ismael set to seal first West Brom signing as club close in Alex Mowatt

Following a prolonged search for a new manager which resulted in the club being linked with a plethora of names, West Bromwich Albion decided to hand over the reins at the Hawthorns to Valerien Ismael last week.

Having achieved a great deal of success in the Championship during his time in charge of Barnsley, the Frenchman will now be hoping to lead the Baggies to promotion next year.

However, in order to give his side the best chance of achieving this particular goal, Ismael will need to get his transfer recruitment spot on between now and August.

Despite only being at the club for a short period of time, Ismael is already looking to put his own stamp on West Brom’s squad by securing the services of a player who excelled under his guidance last season.

A report from The Athletic earlier this month revealed that the Baggies had entered talks with Alex Mowatt over a potential move.

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With his contract at Barnsley set to expire today, the midfielder has seemingly opted against committing his future to the club and is now reportedly on the verge of joining West Brom on a permanent deal.

According to The Telegraph journalist John Percy, Ismael is set to make Mowatt his first signing of the window with the midfielder expected to have a medical later this week before finalising a move.

Certainly no stranger to life in the Championship, the 26-year-old will add a great deal of experience to West Brom’s midfield having featured on 216 occasions at this level during his career.

An ever-present in Barnsley’s starting eleven last season, Mowatt made 46 league appearances as he helped the club reach the play-off semi-final.

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Providing that the Baggies do not face any late obstacles regarding this particular deal, it could be argued that Ismael may have pulled off somewhat a masterstroke by signing Mowatt.

A stand-out performer in the second-tier during the previous campaign, the former Leeds United man netted eight goals and provided seven assists for his team-mates as he averaged a WhoScored match rating of 6.93.

If Mowatt is able to replicate these displays in a West Brom shirt next season, he could become an instant hit with the club’s supporters who will be desperate to see their side bounce back from a tumultuous season in the Premier League.

By building a squad around the likes of Mowatt, Sam Johnstone and Kyle Bartley, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Ismael guides his side to a barnstorming start to the year in the Championship.

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