Former West Bromwich Albion loanee Okay Yokuslu may not re-join the Baggies this summer due to their relegation, according to Express and Star journalist Luke Hatfield, with the Turkish midfielder linked with a move back to The Hawthorns.
27-year-old Yokuslu joined the West Midlands outfit on loan in February under Sam Allardyce but was unable to save them from the drop, finishing 13 points adrift from safety and subsequently relegating them back to the Championship.
Fellow loanees from last season including Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher and Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles have both returned to their parent club, leaving the Baggies looking short of midfield options, with Sam Field and Rekeem Harper also leaving the club this summer.
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As part of manager Valerien Ismael’s plan to strengthen his side’s presence in the middle of the park, he has already recruited former Barnsley captain Alex Mowatt on a free transfer after the duo reached the play-offs together with the Tykes last season.
However, his work in this area is not done yet and West Brom have also been linked with Newcastle United’s Matty Longstaff (loan) and Chelsea’s 22-year-old outcast Trevoh Chalobah (permanent), alongside Yokuslu.
But, according to Baggies reporter Hatfield, he believes their current division and the change of financial situation that comes with it will rule them out of the race for the latter this summer.
Speaking to the FootballFanCast, Hatfield said: “I think there are real question marks over whether West Brom can afford him having gone down.
“The reports linking him with a move to the club don’t surprise me, although I do think the player himself may fancy himself to play in the top flight.”
Although the Baggies would probably love to land Yokuslu on a permanent deal after seeing the Turkish international in action during the second half of last season, pursuing other targets like Longstaff and Chalobah could be more realistic and worthwhile now the club are back in the Championship.
It would be the worst-case scenario to see the Baggies focused on signing the 27-year-old and, because of this, miss out on the other two targets who will bring a lot of quality to the second tier.
Regardless of who they bring in specifically, the departures of players like Conor Gallagher make it vitally important for Ismael’s side to continue strengthening this area.
They will be hoping to get a deal secured for one or two midfielders very shortly because the Championship season is much nearer than many people realise!