While life at West Bromwich Albion could not have got off to a much better start for Valerien Ismael, with his side scoring 11 goals and picking up 10 points from their opening four Championship fixtures, with just a few days remaining of the summer transfer window, there would still appear work to be done for the Frenchman.
Indeed, the departure of Romaine Sawyers on a season-long loan to Stoke City, as well as summer signing Matt Clarke being ruled out for around six weeks due to a hamstring injury, has left the 45-year-old lacking in depth in the middle of the park – with only Jake Livermore and Alex Mowatt being viable options in central midfield.
As such, it would appear extremely wise for Ismael to bring in another body in the position prior to Tuesday’s transfer deadline, with one player appearing to be a standout candidate for the club – Trevoh Chalobah.
While the 22-year-old was heavily linked with a move to West Brom earlier in the transfer window, with some outlets going as far as to claim that the midfielder’s switch to The Hawthorns was all but done, Chalobah was a surprise inclusion in both the UEFA Super Cup final and Chelsea’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.
However, not only did the £3.15m-rated man simply make up the numbers for the Blues in these two fixtures, he starred for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Indeed, over his 120 minutes on the pitch in the penalty shootout victory over Villarreal, Chalobah – being deployed at centre-back – made two tackles, five interceptions and six clearances, as well as winning five of his eight duels, completing 124 of his 130 passes and touching the ball a whopping 148 times.
Rather remarkably, the £12k-per-week midfielder topped this performance in the 3-0 Premier League win over Palace, making two tackles, two clearances and bagging himself a goal – a display which earned the 22-year-old a SofaScore match rating of 8.1, the second-best of any player to feature in the game.
And, while it could be argued that Tuchel may be reluctant to sanction the temporary departure of Chalobah following these impressive performances, should the Blues go on to land Jules Kounde in the coming days, the German boss could well be tempted into a deal.
As such, should an opportunity present itself, it is obvious that Ismael must do all he can to secure the signing of the 6ft 3 midfielder, as he would be able to be deployed in the place of the injured Clarke in the Albion defence, as well as in central midfield upon the defender’s return.
However, there are still a number of things that would have to fall into place for a move to be viable for West Brom, but it is undeniable that Chalobah would be a fantastic addition to the Frenchman’s side, with Kevin Phillips dubbing the potential signing of the youngster as an “amazing coup.”