West Brom are eyeing up a new manager should they be relegated back to the Championship, according to reports…
West Brom News have revealed that former U23 head coach Michael Appleton is their top target to replace Sam Allardyce at the Hawthorns this summer.
The 45-year-old is currently in charge of League One promotion hopefuls Lincoln City and will be eyed up for the Baggies gig as Big Sam is likely to quit if they’re relegated.
He signed an 18-month contract in December, but that contains a break-out clause that can be activated by both parties.
Out-of-work duo Derek McInnes, who was axed by Aberdeen, and Chris Wilder, formerly of Sheffield United, are also in the running.
However, it is the Imps boss that Luke Dowling should be targeting over any other name.
Of course, there is the obvious benefit of having the former academy man and first-team coach back as he’ll have worked with many of the current names amongst Albion’s first-team set-up, including Romaine Sawyers, Jake Livermore, Kyle Bartley, Dara O’Shea, Kyle Edwards and Birmingham loanee Rekeem Harper.
He’s also kept a harmonious relationship with the sporting and technical director, something that didn’t appear to be the case with Slaven Bilic as the pair clashed over summer transfer targets, according to some reports.
Appleton has had varying success in management but the bulk of his struggles came well before 2014, some six to seven seasons ago. He has since rebuilt his coaching career, enjoying a 100% record as Leicester City caretaker boss in the Premier League before making his impact with the Hawthorns’ next crop of youngsters, and now with Lincoln.
Speaking about his potential back in the Midlands, former Birmingham Mail journalist Chris Lepkowski claims he would be “quite excited” by the prospect of the 45-year-old being appointed.
“I’ve always been really impressed by Michael Appleton. He’s a very progressive coach, he doesn’t rest and he’s not a [Tony] Pulis, he has evolved as a manager and introduced different styles, he told The Liquidator podcast. “I know he’s worked with Luke Dowling before, quite harmoniously I believe which certainly helps his credentials in that respect.”
WhoScored describe the Imps’ playing style as a quick-tempo, counter-attack based system and that has led to them having the sixth-best attack in League One – a stark contrast to Big Sam and his attacking struggles.
This is the sort of progressive and attractive appointment that could get the Hawthorns faithful back on side after an abysmal campaign.
Dowling must swoop for Appleton this summer.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Steve Bull reveals he never wanted to leave West Brom…