West Bromwich Albion have been handed a major injury setback ahead of their upcoming top of the table Championship clash.
According to Express & Star journalist Joseph Masi, Valerien Ismael confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Alex Mowatt remains unavailable for selection for the Baggies’ trip to Fulham on Saturday, as the midfielder is yet to recover from a toe injury which also ruled him out of Albion’s last two fixtures.
Speaking about the condition of the 26-year-old, the Frenchman said: “Jake [Livermore] will be back in the squad but Alex Mowatt will be out, I think we have to take time with him now, Jason and Snods have given us the feeling that we can be patient with Alex.
“I think that we need to make sure that we take time with him and assess him every day to make sure he is fine with his fitness but at the minute he’s not 100%. For what we want to play and what we want to see, what we expect from our players, you need to be 100%, any less than that and it makes no sense.”
After following Ismael from Barnsley to The Hawthorns this summer, Mowatt has quickly proven to be one of West Brom’s most important players this season, so his absence in what could be such an important game in the promotion race is sure to have left Baggies fans gutted.
Indeed, over his 12 Championship appearances so far this term, the £6.3m-rated midfielder has scored three goals, provided one assist and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking one shot and making 1.4 key passes per game. The player who Steve Evans dubbed a “special” talent has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making 1.9 interceptions and 1.9 tackles and winning 5.3 duels per match.
As such, the loss of the former England under-20 international will undoubtedly weaken Ismael’s chances of leaving Craven Cottage with all three points today, a scenario which could prove costly for West Brom’s hopes of securing an automatic promotion spot come the end of the season.