While Valerien Ismael enjoyed a relatively quiet first transfer window in charge of West Bromwich Albion – with the Frenchman adding just three permanent signings to his Baggies squad, as well as three further players on season-long loan deals – there has been one summer addition who has particularly flourished since his move to The Hawthorns.
Having been managed by Ismael at Barnsley last season – a campaign in which he highly impressed, scoring eight goals, registering seven assists and averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.10 over his 44 Championship appearances – Alex Mowatt is a player the 46-year-old Albion boss knows extremely well.
And, having snapped the 26-year-old up on a free transfer this summer, the former England U20 international has arguably already proven that he was West Brom’s best piece of business in the previous window.
Despite West Brom’s squad being one that is full to the brim with players who boast a significant amount of Premier League experience, the midfielder who is yet to make a single appearance in the top flight has nevertheless been one of the club’s stand out stars so far this term.
Indeed, over his 11 Championship appearances for the Baggies, the £6.3m-rated central midfielder has scored three goals, registered one assist and has created two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.1 shots and making 1.5 key passes per game.
The man Ismael himself dubbed a “massive player” for Albion has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.9 interceptions, two tackles, 0.7 clearances and winning 5.5 duels per fixture.
As such, considering the fact that the former Barnsley man did not cost West Brom a penny in transfer fees, the midfielder’s performances this season have certainly proven that the promotion hopefuls struck a dream deal with his signing, as it very much appears as if the 26-year-old will go on to play an influential role in the Baggies’ push for an immediate return to the Premier League in the current campaign.