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West Bromwich Albion: Graham Potter drops hint over Matt Clarke’s future

West Bromwich Albion ended their previous Championship season with a fairly respectable defensive record, as the Baggies only conceded 45 goals in their 46 league games.

One player in particular who played a big part for Albion at the back is Matt Clarke.

Signed on a season-long deal from Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion this time last summer, the £2.7m-rated centre-back ended up making 33 Championship appearances for West Brom.

Now that his loan deal has ended, it seems as though Steve Bruce’s side may have been dealt a blow to their chances of seeing the player don a Baggies shirt once again.

What’s the news?

With previous reports claiming that the Baggies would be keen to regain the defender again for next season, Brighton manager Graham Potter was recently asked whether Clarke would be staying at the south coast club for next season or head out elsewhere.

The Seagulls boss said: “We will see. He is a great lad, Matt, we like him a lot. He has had a loan journey and then it’s about seeing the next step is with us or carrying on that journey out. But so far he has conducted himself really well, trained well, played the first 45 minutes [against Union], he will come to Portugal with us and we will keep assessing him in our own environment.”

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First up in this West Brom transfer quiz, which club did the Baggies sign Alex Mowatt from?

Bad news for West Brom

In his 33 appearances for West Brom last term, the 25-year-old made more interceptions (60) than any other Baggies player, along with winning 33 tackles and posting the second-highest average for clearances per game (3.1) in the squad.

His overall performances earned him a solid season rating of 6.97/10, making him the third-highest rated player at the club according to WhoScored. These figures would illustrate why Brighton’s pathway development manager David Weir previously hailed Clarke as being “very adept at Championship level”.

Would you be happy to see Matt Clarke return to West Brom?

Yes

Yes

No

No

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why West Brom would be keen on bringing the 25-year-old back to The Hawthorns.

However, now that Potter has hinted that the player could remain at Brighton this summer, this would surely be bad news for the Baggies and their chances of signing Clarke again, especially if the Seagulls manager decides that he wants the defender to be a regular figure at the Amex Stadium moving forward.

Looking ahead, it seems as though the best thing West Brom can hope for is to see Brighton give the green light for the centre-back to leave the Sussex club this summer so that they can pounce on securing another deal for him at The Hawthorns.

AND in other news: West Brom can land their next Gallagher with swoop for “outstanding” £61k-p/w maestro

Article title: West Bromwich Albion: Graham Potter drops hint over Matt Clarke’s future

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