West Bromwich Albion look set to appoint David Wagner as Sam Allardyce’s successor at The Hawthorns.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to a claim made by The Telegraph reported John Percy, who revealed in a post on Twitter that the majority of the Baggies board believe that the former Huddersfield Town manager is the best candidate for the role.
Percy continued by stating that Chris Wilder had previously been the club’s preferred choice as Allardyce’s replacement, however, the West Brom owner, Guochuan Lai, vetoed a move for the 53-year-old.
Finally, the journalist claimed that the Baggies’ remit was to appoint a manager for whom no compensation would be required, which subsequently ruled out a move for the likes of Swansea City’s Steve Cooper, Barnsley’s Valerien Ismael and Lincoln City’s Michael Appleton.
While it is indeed true that Wagner has guided a team out of the Championship before, doing so with Huddersfield in the club’s 2016/17 campaign, things have not exactly gone swimmingly for the manager in the time since.
After impressively guiding the Terriers to Premier League survival in 2017/18, things took a turn for the worse in the club’s second season in the top flight, with the 49-year-old seeing his side pick up just 11 points from 22 fixtures before leaving The John Smith’s Stadium by mutual consent in January of 2019.
However, things went sour for the former Borussia Dortmund II manager in his second season at Die Konigsblauen, with Wagner eventually being sacked by the club in September 2020 after leading Schalke on a run of 18 league games without a win.
On the other hand, Wilder has a 100% history of leaving a club in a better position than when he first took the job, having taken a mid-table Oxford United side to the League Two play-offs places, guiding a relegation-threatened Northampton Town team to the League Two title and a Sheffield United side languishing in League One to a top-half Premier League finish over the course of just four years.
As such, exactly why Guochuan Lai vetoed a West Brom move for the 53-year-old this summer is something of a mystery, although it could quite easily turn out to be one of the Baggies owner’s biggest mistakes at the club to date, as well as being a decision that will more than likely leave a large section of the Albion fans furious.