New West Brom manager Valerien Ismael has admitted that key duo Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira will likely leave this summer, hinting ‘maybe we have someone’ in the academy to replace them.
The Lowdown: Planning for life in the Championship
The Baggies were relegated from the Premier League last season, but they have been boosted by the arrival of Ismael, with the 45-year-old thriving at Barnsley beforehand.
The new boss will be looking to make key additions during the summer transfer window, but equally, he will find it hard to keep hold of certain individuals.
Johnstone and Pereira were arguably West Brom’s two best players last season and it is no surprise to see other clubs circling.
The Latest: Ismael says duo will leave
Speaking to the press on Monday [via Birmingham Live], Ismael offered a bleak outlook on the pair’s future, admitting he is resigned to them moving on:
“It’s not a secret that Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira can maybe leave the club. It’s my expectation that they (will) leave.
“But, as I say, I don’t need the best players, I need the right players for the position. Even if they leave we will find the solution or we will reinvest the money.
“Maybe we have someone in the academy able to take that position.”
The Verdict: Replacements required
In truth, it was always going to be hard to keep hold of Johnstone and Pereira, with the duo possessing the quality to play top-flight football.
Johnstone is a part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad at Euro 2020, which speaks volumes, while Pereira bagged a hugely impressive 11 goals and six assists in the Premier League in 2020/21.
Hopefully, the money generated for both players can be spent wisely on new signings, however. While every football fan loves to see a local lad come through the academy and thrive, the Baggies must offer Ismael at least a hefty chunk of any funds generated from sales to sign new players.
In other news, one West Brom player has been linked with a move to a big club – find out who it is here.
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