Life at West Bromwich Albion has gotten off to a very good start for Valerien Ismael, with the Frenchman having overseen a relatively successful summer transfer window, as well as seeing his Albion side impress over the opening five fixtures of their Championship campaign.
Regarding the Baggies’ transfer business, the 45-year-old manager managed to address a number of problem areas within his squad, landing the signings of centre-forward Jordan Hugill, central midfielders Alex Mowatt and Jayson Molumby, centre-back Matt Clarke and versatile left-midfielder Adam Reach.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, Albion have dropped just two points over their opening five games of the season, results which have left the club sitting second in the Championship standings, behind table-toppers Fulham on goal difference alone.
As such, it is perhaps to be expected that a number of the 45-year-old manager’s players have impressed so far this season, however, rather than the headline-grabbing top goalscorer Callum Robinson topping the club’s performance charts – as may have been expected – it is actually one of Ismael’s summer signings who has so far stolen the show for West Brom this season – Alex Mowatt.
While Robinson has hardly disappointed for Albion so far this season, having scored three goals and averaged a SofaScore match rating of 7.42 over his four Championship appearances, it is nevertheless the former Barnsley midfielder who currently tops the Baggies’ player rankings.
Indeed, over his five second-tier appearances so far for West Brom, the £6.3m-rated central midfielder has scored two goals, registered one assist and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of one shot and making 1.4 key passes per game.
The 26-year-old has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 2.4 interceptions, 2.8 tackles, 0.8 clearances and winning 6.6 duels per league fixture.
These returns have seen the player Steve Evans dubbed a “special” talent earn a rather remarkable average SofaScore match rating of 7.48, ranking him not only as Ismael’s best performer in the Championship but also as the joint eighth-best player in the entirety of the division.
As such, should Mowatt be able to maintain this form over the remainder of the season, not only could the £6.5k-per-week midfielder play a starring role in Albion’s push to secure automatic promotion, he could go on to be viewed as one of the signings of the season.