Clarke hunting for reinforcements

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke is already scouting Europe for possible replacements from his squad this summer.

Last Updated: 22/02/13 at 13:33 Post Comment

Steve Clarke: Thinks West Brom could lose players this summer

Steve Clarke: Thinks West Brom could lose players this summer

Steve Clarke has admitted West Brom could lose several players from the current squad this summer - and the head coach is already scouting Europe for possible replacements.

Clarke, whose side welcome Sunderland on Saturday, concedes there could be up to six changes during the close season.

He recognises that the 'not for sale' stance adopted by him during January will be harder to implement during the next transfer window.

Winger Jerome Thomas and striker Marc-Antoine Fortune are out of contract in June while frontman Roman Lukaku's season long loan will expire.

But in addition Albion could face further offers for the likes of striker Peter Odemwingie and defender Jonas Olsson after rejecting bids from QPR last month.

Clarke said: "The club always tend to have a number of players who are on short-term or loan contracts. At the end of the season there is a possibility there will be three, four, five or six changes.

"We've had a really good season and maybe some other, bigger clubs will show an interest in some of the players we've got.

"I would like to be able to take the same stance (not for sale) but the summer window is slightly different to the January window.

"It's a little bit longer, there's a little bit more time for us to have targets to go for and for other clubs to come in and try to take some of ours.

"Our job is to make sure that we have a number of targets ready to come in as and when we need to chase those targets."

Clarke has used the 12-day break from action since the win at Liverpool to eye up potential targets.

He said: "I went to another European country and watched a couple of matches.

"I went to watch a couple of games to broaden my knowledge of the players that are available and are possible targets for next season.

"Myself and my coaching staff have been out across Europe over the last three or four weeks looking at potential targets for next season.

"I'm not going to give too much away but we saw some good games and a lot of good players. The club is well-organised, the scouting department is good.

"It's good for me that I can follow up recommendations from a really good scouting department that have proved over the years they can find really good players."

Clarke is looking for Albion to kick-start their season back into top gear after the win at Anfield halted a sequence of five defeats in six games.

He said: "The result at Liverpool was the result we needed. We had a negative run of results which stretched into about six weeks.

"For a team used to winning during the first half of the season, it was hard to take.

"But we are hoping the Anfield result is the one that kickstarts the final third of the season and we go onto achieve good things for the club."

Clarke met some Baggies fans at a forum last night and admits some of them will find it difficult to welcome back Odemwingie after his Twitter rants against the club and travelling to Loftus Road without permission on deadline day.

But he is confident a "strong" dressing room will ensure there is no festering problem after his return to the squad.

Clarke said: "I understand some fans will find it difficult to forgive Peter for what he did.

"But if he is selected and part of the team, all we ask is for the fans to support the team and he has got a big contribution to make. His ability is not in question.

"In terms of the dressing room, there is no problem with Peter. The players are strong characters and know what is required.

"In every season there will be ups and downs and the strength of your dressing room is very important and our dressing room is strong enough to deal with the ups and downs."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e deserved respect for forging a successful football career despite being, clearly, made from balsa wood.

Nutboy
Wenger: Diaby deserves respect

L

iverpool should put in a bid for Barkley. As cheeky as it may sound, only he looks capable enough to replace Gerrard.

paulay8
Gerrard's Decay Becoming Sadly Apparent

M

y emotions were not mixed. Super professional that he is. I will never look at you the same way Frank. Love affair over.

gittoplo
Lampard: Mixed emotions

Footer 365

Premier League: Liverpool granted permission to expand Anfield

Liverpool's plans to expand Anfield have received a boost after the council grant approval for redevelopment work.

Rio: Fergie exit hit RvP hardest

Rio Ferdinand has claimed Robin van Persie was the player who suffered the most after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement as Man United manager.

Premier League: West Brom boss Alan Irvine ready to drop big names

West Brom boss Alan Irvine has underlined his willingness to drop out-of-form players, regardless of their status.

Mail Box

Is Moyes The Big Winner This Season?

Man United and Everton are making David Moyes look good enough for Newcastle. We have lots of mails on Steven Gerrard but mostly Man United and Van Gaal...

Should Gerrard Play Further Forward?

That's one shout in a mailbox that recalls Rafa Benitez saying the Liverpool man would one day end up as a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney and 500 words on Ipswich...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property