West Brom latest news: 'Surprise' involving £6.3m ace after 'big fear' for Valerien Ismael

West Bromwich Albion head coach Valerien Ismael

Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield has revealed he was shocked to see Alex Mowatt start West Bromwich Albion’s derby with Birmingham City because the club initially feared the midfielder had suffered a broken foot.

Mowatt was named in Albion’s starting line-up for the 1-0 victory on Friday night before being withdrawn after 62 minutes of the Championship clash at the Hawthorns.

What’s the latest news involving Mowatt?

Fresh from being appointed as the Baggies’ new head coach in June, Valerien Ismael quickly raided former club Barnsley as he made Mowatt his first signing.

Mowatt has gone on to become a key player for his new employers and been named in every domestic starting line-up since the switch.

He has also scored three goals for West Brom, including a sensational strike which saw him win the Championship Goal of the Month award for September.

Mowatt was initially seen as a major doubt for the derby against Birmingham last week after he was forced off with a foot injury prior to the international break, leading to Ismael admitting a scan was needed to determine the severity of the knock.

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Enter Giveaway

However, Ismael went on to provide a positive update on Mowatt’s fitness just 24 hours before the clash.

What has Luke Hatfield said about Mowatt?

Hatfield revealed Mowatt’s inclusion in the Baggies’ starting line-up came as a shock to him and other journalists in the Hawthorns press box.

The journalist claims there were initial fears that the central midfielder could be on the sidelines for a prolonged period of time.

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Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “It was a surprise for everyone I think. We were all pretty sure that Mowatt might be struggling for the game but then later on in the week Albion released their training ground photos and, lo and behold, Alex Mowatt was in there.

“Ismael said himself that he was fearful that it was going to be an injury which kept him out but, thankfully, it wasn’t broken.

“That was a big fear, that he’d broken his foot, but that wasn’t the case.”

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Did Mowatt come through the derby unscathed?

Mowatt was substituted for the second fixture in succession and it led to Ismael admitting the 26-year-old, who is valued at £6.3million by Transfermarkt, had sustained a toe injury.

Albion return to action when they make the trip to Swansea City tomorrow night.

Ismael has confirmed it is a close call as to whether Mowatt will be in contention for a place in the squad and the central midfielder will continue being assessed.

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