West Brom news: Valerien Ismael must 'take risk' over one of his 'most important players'


Journalist Luke Hatfield said that Alex Mowatt’s importance to West Brom means he’s worth risking even when not 100 percent fit.

The midfielder suffered an injury before the international break in the closing stages against Stoke, which looked like it would lead to a spell on the sidelines.

However, Mowatt made a swift return to action and was named in the XI for the Midlands derby against Birmingham City on Friday.

But the 26-year-old sustained another problem against the Blues, which forced him off after 62 minutes in the Baggies’ 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns.

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What happened against Birmingham?

Ismael’s comments two weeks earlier against Stoke were quite damming and it sounded like Mowatt would be ruled out of the derby.

But such is Mowatt’s importance to the team and the fact it was a huge game against a local rival, the former Barnsley man was picked to play from the start by Ismael.

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Even after his 6.85 rating against Birmingham, Mowatt has been West Brom’s fourth-best player this season, according to WhoScored, so wasn’t a great surprise that he started the game despite possibly not being at full fitness.

It was far from a vintage performance, but Karlan Grant’s 75th-minute goal, which came after Mowatt had been forced off through injury, was enough to earn West Brom the three points.

Ismael revealed that Mowatt is expected to be fit enough to play against Swansea this evening, but Hatfield knows that his importance to the side makes him worth the possibility of getting injured.

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What did Hatfield say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s one you’ve got to take a risk with Mowatt because he’s so important to side and he offers so much in terms of creating chances. His engine in midfield, the defensive work he does tracking back.

“He’s probably one of Albion’s most important players, so you can play him, and he wants to play, and the medical team give you the thumbs up, I wouldn’t disagree with starting him.”

Will Mowatt start against Swansea?

When the West Brom boss spoke after the Birmingham victory, he didn’t appear too concerned about Mowatt’s condition, which suggests that he’s in line to keep his place in the team despite coming off.

Ismael told Birmingham Live: “Alex is the same injury, a bruise on his toe. He took the right decision to come off, we need to manage him for the next game.”

His comments after the Stoke defeat were far more alarming, so, with that in mind, you’d be brave to bet against Mowatt starting in South Wales.

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