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Steve Bruce makes admission about West Brom man’s fitness ahead of upcoming campaign

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West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce has admitted that the club will need to assess Okay Yokuslu’s fitness ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

As confirmed by the Baggies’ official website earlier this week, the midfielder has signed a three-year deal which will keep at the club until 2025.

Yokuslu was on the lookout for a new club following Celta Vigo’s decision to release him and will now be keen to establish himself as a key player for West Brom after sealing a move to the Championship side.

Certainly no stranger to life at The Hawthorns, the midfielder previously featured for West Brom during their most recent spell in the Premier League.

The midfielder made 16 appearances for the Baggies at this level as they suffered relegation to the second-tier in 2021.

After failing to secure an immediate return to the top-flight last season, West Brom will be aiming to challenge for automatic promotion in the new term.

Ahead of their upcoming Championship clash with Middlesbrough, Bruce has revealed that the club will need to assess where Yokuslu is at regarding his fitness levels.

Speaking to the Express & Star, the West Brom boss said: “It’s an exciting signing for us because he played very well when he was here before.

“But we’re going to have to see where he is fitness-wise.

“There is a difference between being fit and being match-fit.

“Has he been playing?

“When you miss pre-season, I always think it’s very difficult to play catch up.

“But I believe he is a wonderful pro and a good athlete and will do everything he can to be right.

“It’s a really good signing for us and I think all the signings we have made so far will certainly help us.”

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The Verdict

Whereas West Brom’s players have been preparing for the new term by participating in pre-season, Yokuslu may be behind in terms of his fitness due to the fact that he briefly became a free-agent earlier this year.

When the midfielder is ready to play for the Baggies, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he sets the second-tier alight with his performances.

A stand-out performer for the club in the Premier League in the 2020/21 campaign, the Turkey international made 2.4 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game as he recorded an average WhoScored match rating of 6.96.

By replicating these displays in the Championship, the midfielder could potentially help West Brom challenge for promotion.


Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Steve Bruce makes admission about West Brom man’s fitness ahead of upcoming campaign

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