West Brom have identified a new name as a potential replacement for Sam Allardyce this summer, according to reports…
The Sun on Sunday (18/04, p67) claim the Baggies will target Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael should they fail in their attempts to keep hold of the 66-year-old past the end of the current campaign.
It’s suggested that the Midlands outfit would like Big Sam to remain in charge but he won’t make a decision until he knows what his potential transfer budget would be ahead of the summer window.
Ismael’s stock has risen this season after guiding the Tykes to the cusp of a playoff position having narrowly avoided relegation last season. The 45-year-old has also been linked to Crystal Palace, where ex-Albion boss Roy Hodgson is out of contract.
West Brom are still likely to be relegated from the Premier League despite recording back-to-back wins as they still remain nine points adrift of safety, with only five games left to play.
The Championship is not a division that Allardyce has managed in nearly a decade and things have vastly changed since then – it’s certainly going to be tougher to get back up now.
And whilst he’s certainly turned around their form, the football on offer at times is still pretty drab and that’s something West Ham fans know all too well about, even when gaining promotion from the second-flight in 2012.
Ismael would bring an attacking brand of football to the Hawthorns and one that is certainly paying dividends in the Championship. He’s recorded a win rate of 61% since arriving at Oakwell in October 2020.
His stint in Austria, where he challenged for the league title with LASK Linz, earned the praise of them being the “second-best pressing team in the world” whilst his feat there has been dubbed “outstanding,” too.
With fans set to return to stadiums by the time next season gets underway, Luke Dowling could do no wrong by employing Ismael as their next manager. He’d certainly bring entertainment back to the west Midlands, and that could well be need post-relegation.
AND in other news, “Ruthless” £30k-p/w outcast in danger of becoming the Hawthorns’ next big flop …