West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael has dropped an injury update on Matt Clarke.
Speaking after Albion’s win over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, the Frenchman revealed that he and his medical team will be assessing the extent of the centre-back’s hamstring injury, which the 24-year-old picked up when chasing a loose ball shortly before half-time in the fixture, in order to determine when the Brighton & Hove Albion loanee will return to action.
As cited by Birmingham Live, the 45-year-old said: “The only negative is the injury to Matty Clarke. I don’t know what’s going on, we need to assess him. We’ll see how bad the injury is.
“Yes, it’s really sad, but I hope it’s not too bad. The good thing is that we have the international break next week, so hopefully we get him back after the international break. This is my expectation, this is my hope.”
Considering how impressive Clarke has been following his move to The Hawthorns earlier this summer, West Brom fans may be gutted to hear that the defender looks set to miss the Baggies’ Carabao Cup clash against Arsenal on Wednesday, as well as the Championship fixture with Peterborough United on Saturday.
Indeed, over his three league appearances for Albion thus far, the £2.7m-rated man has averaged 2.3 interceptions, one tackle and 2.7 clearances and has won a whopping 7.3 duels per game, with these returns earning the centre-back an average SofaScore match rating of 7.03.
Although the Carabao Cup is not likely to be a priority for Albion in a season in which they are chasing automatic promotion, and a trip to Peterborough unlikely to be the most difficult fixture of their Championship campaign, the absence of the £21k-per-week Clarke will still be felt by Ismael. The manager will certainly be hoping that the player who Brighton boss Graham Potter dubbed a “quality” talent will be ready for action shortly after the upcoming international break.