West Bromwich Albion are set to reconsider their original decision of allowing Rekeem Harper to leave The Hawthorns this summer.
That’s according to a report by the Express & Star, who claim that 21-year-old’s proposed transfer to Ipswich Town has been put on hold until the club’s impending appointment of Valerien Ismael is completed.
It is reported that, despite agreeing terms with the League One side, as well as the midfielder having undergone a medical with the Suffolk club, the Baggies could end up cancelling the move if the potentially incoming Frenchman is not prepared to let the former England under-19 international leave this summer.
While it would have been an odd move on the part of Guochuan Lai and Xu Ke to allow such a promising player to leave the club while the duo had still not appointed a manager, it would very much appear that the West Brom hierarchy have now made a sensible call on the matter.
While the £2.25m-rated midfielder has not exactly been a regular in Albion’s first team in recent seasons, under the guidance of Ismael, Harper could well turn out to be a key player for the Championship club next season.
In his breakthrough season at the club back in 2018/19, he featured in 16 Championship games for the Baggies, scoring one goal, providing one assist and creating one big chance for his teammates, with these metrics seeing him earn a seasonal SofaScore rating of 6.60.
The following summer, the 21-year-old was linked with a number of high-profile clubs, including the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham, although the £8,000-per-week man eventually went on to sign a new three-year deal to keep him in West Bromwich until the summer of 2022.
However, having made just 10 Championship appearances in 2019/20 and two Premier League appearances in 2020/21, it is understandable why the player whom Slaven Bilic claimed has “no limits” in the game may want to leave the club this summer.
However, with a manager potentially taking over at The Hawthorns who is known to favour a younger side, the West Brom outcast could finally be linking up with a coach who can help him fulfil his undoubted potential. That leads us to believe that Ismael must right Ke’s wrong of sanctioning Harper’s departure this summer, and instead integrate him into the Baggies’ first team next season.