By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

16th Jun, 2021 | 6:10pm

Kevin Phillips raves about West Brom-linked Valerien Ismael

We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…

Kevin Phillips believes it’s unlikely that West Brom will make a move to appoint Barnsley’s Valerien Ismael as their next manager.

Ismael, 45, unexpectedly led Barnsley to the Championship play-offs this season despite them almost being relegated last term.

He was previously linked with replacing Sam Allardyce at The Hawthorns but talk of hiring the Frenchman went quiet amid a report by The Mirror said the Baggies would have to pay £1.5million in compensation to Barnsley.

However, we’ve seen Luke Dowling leave his role as Albion’s sporting and technical director this week and according to The Athletic, Ismael could be back under consideration as the now-former Baggies chief wasn’t a fan of his style of play.

After failing to hire Chris Wilder and David Wagner, Phillips claims that West Brom need to cast their net wide and while he doesn’t feel a move for Ismael is likely, he is a fan of the Barnsley boss.

Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “They have to consider everyone.

They need to sit down and write a list of who’s been successful this season and the guy at Barnsley did a fantastic job to get them to where he did.

He would have to be considered.

They’d have to pay compensation to get someone like that out of their job but West Brom haven’t done that for a long time so I’d be surprised if they did go down that route.”

Albion have not paid a compensation fee to hire a manager since Roberto Di Matteo was plucked from MK Dons in 2009.

The Italian, who later in his career won the Champions League while in charge of Chelsea, led the Black Country club to promotion in his first season in charge.

In other West Brom news, there’s been an update on speculation linking Tony Pulis with a shock return.

Be sure to follow West Brom News on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Baggies and more exclusive interviews with Kevin Phillips.