Valerien Ismael: Adam Reach shows he can hit heights at West Brom

Boss Valerien Ismael believes Adam Reach’s recent performances show exactly why he was so keen to bring the wing-back to Albion.

West Bromwich Albion's Adam Reach
West Bromwich Albion's Adam Reach

Reach became the Baggies fourth signing of the summer when he put pen to paper on a three year deal at The Hawthorns back in August.

The 28-year-old joined on a free transfer after leaving Sheffield Wednesday following their relegation into League One.

Blackburn Rovers were among the clubs interested in signing Reach and giving him an instant route back to the Championship.

But he opted to join Albion after being impressed by Ismael’s plans for him in the wing-back role.

Reach started the season on the subs’ bench but injuries to Matt Clarke and Dara O’Shea saw fellow wing-back Conor Townsend move to central defence.

And that has given Reach the chance to show what he can do on the left side, with the former Middlesbrough man having put in a string of impressive displays over the past month. “It’s just confirmed why we took him,” Ismael said when asked about Reach’s recent form.

“We knew from the mentality, from the position, from the way to play he was a perfect player for us.

“And that is now showing.

“He is showing his quality, he is playing with consistency and he is building his confidence every game more and more. I think the relationship with Conor (Townsend) at centre-back is working very well at the minute.

“It’s great to see that he is putting in performances straight away at a high level.”

Albion now have Matt Clarke available again after he picked up a hamstring injury during the win at Blackburn on August 21.

But Ismael said the form of both Townsend and Reach ensured the Baggies weren’t in a position where they had to rush back the Brighton loanee. “That is the reason we took our time,” Ismael said. “Cardiff was possible for Clarkey but Conor did his job very well.

“We didn’t need to rush.

“He was on the bench at Stoke but due more to the performances from Conor and Reachy didn’t put him under pressure. He was able to come back properly.”

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