West Bromwich Albion are battling to secure a move to bring Adam Reach to the Hawthorns this summer.
That’s according to a claim made by Alan Nixon, with The Sun journalist revealing in a post on Twitter that Albion are fighting Blackburn Rovers for the signature of the former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, who is a free agent after leaving the Owls at the end of last season.
In response to a fan asking whether Rovers were close to signing anyone this summer, Nixon said: “[Blackburn are] still in Reach race despite the West Brom interest.”
With Valerien Ismael often setting Barnsley up in a 3-4-2-1 formation last season, it would appear logical to assume that the Frenchman may well look to once again call upon this formation following his appointment at West Brom.
And, although Reach was playing his football for a Sheffield Wednesday side who ultimately finished bottom of the Championship last term, the 28-year-old nevertheless demonstrated he possesses a significant amount of ability, while the left midfielder’s positional versatility could also solve something of a problem for the 45-year-old Albion manager.
Indeed, over his 44 Championship appearances for the Owls last season, the £2.52m-rated man scored five goals, registered three assists and created five big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.3 shots and making 0.8 key passes per game.
The man Tony Pulis dubbed a “top player” also impressed in a defensive capacity, making an average of 0.9 interceptions, one tackle, one clearance and winning 2.8 duels per match.
As such, it would very much appear as if Reach would be capable of doing a job for West Brom, but, the exact job he may be asked to perform is what could make the former England U20 international an extremely astute piece of business by Ismael.
Indeed, with the Frenchman stating shortly after his arrival at the club that he doesn’t “need the most expensive player or the best player” but rather the “right player for the position,” Reach looks as if he could be something of a perfect candidate for the role as the 45-year-old’s left wing-back.
And, with only Conor Townsend in the Albion squad who is a natural left-back, it would very much seem as if Ismael will require far greater depth in the position over the course of an arduous Championship campaign.
So, all of the above would lead us to believe that the signing of Reach could solve one of the manager’s big issues at The Hawthorns ahead of next season, and, with the 28-year-old being available on a free transfer, he would also represent something of a bargain.