With West Bromwich Albion’s search to appoint Sam Allardyce’s successor at The Hawthorns having drawn on for an excruciatingly prolonged period, a door may have just opened that would allow the club to move for the perfect candidate.
Having been rejected by a number of their first-choice targets already this summer, a list that includes the likes of Roy Hodgson, Frank Lampard, David Wagner and Michael Appleton, as well as the club’s owner, Guochuan Lai, personally vetoing a move for Chris Wilder, it very much appears as if West Brom are running out of options in their managerial search.
However, with The Telegraph reporting on Tuesday that Scott Parker looks set to leave Craven Cottage by mutual consent in the coming days, the Baggies’ fortunes could have just made a dramatic u-turn.
Despite having overseen a second relegation from the Premier League in the space of just three seasons, Parker’s record in the Championship should provide Lai with more than enough incentive to make an approach for the 40-year-old manager.
Indeed, over the former England international’s 46 games in charge of Fulham during the regular Championship season, the young coach guided his side to a highly impressive 23 wins, 12 draws and 11 losses, results which saw Fulham secure a fourth-place finish in the second tier standings, just two points behind Slaven Bilic’s West Brom side in the automatic promotion places.
Parker then overcame Cardiff City with a 3-2 aggregate win in the play-off semi-finals, before defeating a heavily fancied Brentford side 2-1 AET in the final – meaning the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder had achieved the feat of leading his team back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
As such, with an immediate return to the top flight very much being the primary objective for West Brom next season, Parker’s appointment would appear to dramatically boost the Baggies chances of being successful in their quest to once again be playing Premier League football at the earliest opportunity.
Furthermore, with managers such as Pep Guardiola, Marcelo Bielsa and Jurgen Klopp all singling the 40-year-old out for his impressive brand of football at Fulham, with the latter of the three stating his belief that Parker is an “exceptional” manager, not only would his appointment increase the club’s chances of promotion, it would also bring a fresh, exciting and attacking style of play to The Hawthorns – something that fans must be longing for after half a season of watching Allardyce’s West Brom.
So, it would seem Parker ticks a great deal, if not all, of the boxes that Lai is likely demanding from the Baggies’ next manager, leading us to believe that the owner should be doing all he can to lure the Fulham boss to West Bromwich this summer.
Parker is reportedly a target for potential play-off rivals Bournemouth and that is said to be his most likely destination but with nothing seemingly signed with The Cherries yet, West Brom, having also decided not to sign Wilder, should make big push to convince the former England midfielder that Albion would be the best place for him to manage.