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‘NEW IDENTITY’: West Bromwich Albion appoint Valerian Ismael

West Bromwich Albion appoint Valerian Ismael as their new head coach, securing the French manager from Championship rivals Barnsley.

The 45 year-old has signed a four year deal at The Hawthorns and has promised to give West Bromwich Albion a ‘new identity’. Ismael arrives with a huge reputation after leading Barnsley to a play-off position last year, although they fell short of promotion and lost to Swansea City in their semi-final.

Ismael, who won 25 of his 44 games in charge of Barnsley after taking over in October 2020 with the Yorkshire club in 21st position, said after agreeing terms with West Brom, “My first task is to implement a new identity that the fans can enjoy.

“One where they can see the players are there for each other and give everything on the pitch to win games. We have a clear plan and vision of where we want to go.

“For sure we will need some new faces in certain positions – but the only massive change here will be the way we play and the formation.”

West Brom chief executive Xu Ke was pleased to acquire Ismael’s services and is confident the former Nuremberg, Wolfsburg, LASK and Barnsley boss is the right man to lead the club back to the Premier League.

“I am delighted to welcome Valerien to The Hawthorns,” he said in a statement on the club website.

“Valerien has established a reputation as an excellent coach and I have been impressed by his professionalism, enthusiasm and hunger to succeed.

“His performance last season with Barnsley, and his coaching career to date, all point to a man who has a long, successful career in front of him. It is my hope that he is with us for at least the next four years.

“I am confident that by working together we will be able to achieve our goal of returning to the Premier League, but success is earned by building on strong foundations, and our plans must now look further into the future. For too long we have focused only on what is immediately in front of us. This means we have often neglected our long-term aspirations.

“We are all aware of what will be required in order to be successful and player recruitment will be of the utmost importance.

“Valerien and I will immediately focus on preparing the squad for the new season, working together with Ian Pearce, our head of recruitment, to secure talented transfer targets who will strengthen us for the challenges ahead, ensuring fans are once more proud to support this great club.

“I am excited to be working with Valerien and I am sure we will soon establish a strong relationship that will be to the benefit of the football club and its supporters.”

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