By Nick Ware

7th Aug, 2021 | 6:10am

Ian Holloway questions Leeds United decision to sell Alex Mowatt in 2017 after West Brom transfer

Ian Holloway has admitted his surprise that Leeds United sold Alex Mowatt to Barnsley in 2017, after the 26-year-old joined West Brom this summer.

The Doncaster-born dynamo rose through the ranks at Leeds after joining in 2004 and he made over 100 appearances before he was sold to the Tykes in January 2017, just weeks after Andrea Radrizzani became co-owner of the Whites.

After initially struggling at Oakwell the midfielder became an integral influence on the side and he captained them to a Championship play-off position last term, earning him a free agent move to promotion favourites West Brom earlier this summer.

Speaking on the League of 72 YouTube account, former QPR boss Holloway delivered his reaction and referenced the Whites.

“He’s [Valerien Ismael] brought in Alex Mowatt, who is a fantastic you lad, he was obviously at Leeds before that,” Holloway said.

“He has been at a big club before, we’re not being disrespectful at all to Barnsley but we’re talking about Leeds United.

“They quite madly thought he was not good enough for them, I can’t argue with Marcelo Bielsa because he was the one who let him go [it was actually Garry Monk] but the boy’s done exceptionally well.”

Holloway got his wires crossed a little when harking back to Mowatt’s Leeds days, because Bielsa didn’t actually arrive at Elland Road until 18 months later. We still had the small matter of Monk, Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom to deal with until El Loco arrived as the saviour.

However, it was a bit of a blow when Monk deemed him surplus to requirements and he was sold to Barnsley at the time after previously establishing himself as a key player in the side.

He’s now forged a very respectable career for himself and he registered an assist on his West Brom debut on Friday night [06/08/21] as the Baggies drew 2-2 with Bournemouth on the opening day of the Championship season.

Perhaps he might feel he could have been lining up in the Premier League with Leeds next week had he hung on and stayed for the arrival of Bielsa.

It’s a tough one to predict – Bielsa improves most, if not all players, but Mowatt’s lack of athleticism may have counted against him, though the Argentine would certainly have approved of his trusty left foot.

As it is, Mowatt now spends his time in the second tier, but we expect, and hope, to see him lining up at Elland Road next season as a Premier League player with West Brom.

In other Leeds United news, a talkSPORT pundit has shared what he’s heard about Marcelo Bielsa and Lionel Messi.