West Brom confirm appointment of Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael on four-year contract at the Hawthorns

VALERIEN ISMAEL took charge of West Brom today and promised fans they will see a new-look Baggies once he knocks last season’s relegation victims into shape.

The French-born 45-year-old returns to the UK this week, following Government COVID-19 quarantine rules, prior to joining his first-team squad for pre-season training next week.

Valerien Ismael has agreed to take charge of West Brom1

Valerien Ismael has agreed to take charge of West BromCredit: Rex

After putting pen to paper on a four-year-deal, the man Albion shelled out £2million to prise away from Barnsley, vowed: “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.”

Albion CEO, Xu Ke – also known as Ken – says the former Nuremberg, Wolfsburg, LASK and Barnsley boss is at the Hawthorns for the long haul after Slaven Bilic and Sam Allardyce both departed last season.

He said: “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.” 

West Brom were relegated from the Premier League after finishing second bottom with just five wins from 38 games.

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Ismael will be tasked with leading the Baggies to promotion and his impressive record at Barnsley offers hope for their fans.

Barnsley mounted a promotion challenge despite their lowly budget and finished fifth in the Championship.

But their unlikely success story did not result in promotion after Ismael’s side were beaten by Swansea in their play-off semi-final.

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