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

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

Footer 365

Simon Mignolet: I'll take positives from losing Liverpool spot and come back stronger

Simon Mignolet says a recent spell out of the Liverpool side could end up having a positive effect on his career.

Premier League: Sam Allardyce accuses referee of guessing wrongly over disallowed Alex Song goal

Sam Allarydce criticised referee Neil Swarbrick for disallowing a goal after West Ham were defeated 2-1 by Arsenal.

Premier League: Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are showing signs of consistency after West Ham win

Arsene Wenger said Arsenal are heading in the right direction after seeing them hold on for a 2-1 win over West Ham.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

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