Former Tottenham Hotspur and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has urged Championship side West Bromwich Albion to re-sign former loanee Okay Yokuslu in an interview with the Football Insider, with the Turkish international spending the second half of last season on loan at The Hawthorns.
The Turkish international, 27, was a regular for his national side at this year’s European Championships as they went out in a disappointing fashion, but impressed many in the Premier League last term despite not being able to save them from the drop.
With Yokulsu, Conor Gallagher and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all returning to their respective parent clubs in the summer, new manager Valerien Ismael and his recruitment team are currently on the prowl for replacements in the middle of the park.
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Newcastle United 21-year-old Matty Longstaff and Chelsea’s Trevoh Chalobah have both been linked with moves to the West Midlands – and the Express and Star understand the latter is close to sealing a move to the Championship after becoming surplus to requirements under Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.
However, it is also thought the Baggies are in talks with La Liga side Celta Vigo over a potential loan deal for the 27-year-old – and former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson is one pundit who is relishing the prospect of seeing the central midfielder back in England.
Speaking about Yokuslu in an interview with the Football Insider, Robinson said: “I’d be surprised if he doesn’t interest Premier League teams.
“I think he was by (far) head and shoulders their best player last season. He’s definitely a Premier League-standard player.
“We talk about Pereira, we talk about Johnstone but he was their best player sitting in that holding midfield role.
“So if West Brom can persuade him to come and join a Championship team then he would be a real coup for them.”
Yokuslu was one of West Brom’s shining lights in a dark season for the Baggies, so it will be a very hard task to persuade him to return to The Hawthorns.
One move that could help to get this potential signing over the line is if they move to try and keep the likes of Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone, because with the pair and the Turkish international, it’s hard to see the Baggies not going up and Yokuslu might be tempted to join Valerien Ismael’s side in their promotion charge.
They will also be wary of their top-flight wage bill and the transfer embargoes that have hit a number of Championship clubs this summer – a warning of what could happen if their spending spirals out of control.
Therefore, any move for the midfielder must provide value for money and if there are cheaper deals available in the transfer market, they must pursue those targets instead. The imminent arrival of Trevoh Chalobah shows there are shrewd deals to be done.