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Valerien Ismael: Adam Reach has the mentality to suit Baggies

Albion boss Valerien Ismael believes new recruit Adam Reach has all the qualities needed to adapt to his high-pressing game.

Adam Reach
Adam Reach

Reach became the Baggies fourth signing off the summer yesterday when he put pen to paper on a three year deal at The Hawthorns.

Able to play down the left as both a winger and a wing-back, the 28-year-old opted to leave Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season following their relegation from the Championship.

Ismael, who is known for his high-press philosophy, revealed he first became aware of Reach last season when his Barnsley side faced the Owls.

And he is now looking forward to working with the former Shrewsbury loanee at The Hawthorns.

“I know Adam from last season when we played Sheffield Wednesday with Barnsley,” Ismael said.

“We recognised straight away that he was one of the players who were able to adapt the intensity of play.

“He has big quality on the left side, a great mentality and is very dangerous with his crosses.

“He has the attributes we need – the mentality, the philosophy, the press and a never-give-up attitude.

“He has a lot of experience in the Championship and is a great age.

“We have another great player on our staff for the long season ahead.

“It’s important that we have a player who knows the league and knows exactly what’s going on.

“It will be a long, long, long season and it’s important to have players who know exactly what they have to do. Our job now is to integrate him and to ensure he is ready to play. He will need the knowledge of our philosophy and principles as well.”

With his contract at Wednesday having expired, Reach became a free agent this summer.

It is understood he had interest from a host of other clubs in the Championship with Blackburn one of the teams he turned down in favour of joining the Baggies.

And he said he is looking forward to the challenge of helping Albion secure an instant return to the Premier League.

“It’s clear that West Bromwich Albion is a very ambitious club,” Reach said.

“I share those ambitions of wanting to play in the Premier League.

“It’s the most exciting challenge of my career and it’s certainly the biggest challenge of my career.

“I pride myself on making a lot of appearances for clubs.

“I want to make plenty of appearances and have my best years here.

“I just can’t wait to get started.”

Meanwhile, Ismael admitted he’s been impressed with winger Rayhaan Tulloch during pre-season.

The 20-year-old joined Doncaster on loan last season.

But an injury in only his second outing for the club ruled him out for the rest of the 2020/21 campaign.

Now, though, he is back fit and has impressed in Albion’s pre-season friendlies – with the winger scoring in the win over Blues.

“He (Tulloch) has had a great pre-season and if we need him, I have no problem playing a young player,” Ismael said.

“I need a right player with the right mentality. If he is 18 or 30, it doesn’t matter.

“For me, we need the right player with the right mentality in the right position to help us be successful.

“If it is a young player, it will be a young player.”

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