West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael has dropped an update on the future of on-loan centre-forward Jordan Hugill.
In recent comments cited by Birmingham Live, the 46-year-old Baggies boss refused to rule out the possibility of Hugill making a return to Norwich City before the end of the month, with the Frenchman revealing that he held talks with the 29-year-old forward regarding his future at The Hawthorns following the club’s recent £7m signing of Daryl Dike.
Speaking about Hugill, Ismael said: “We had a chat with Jordan earlier this week. It’s clear. I told him my opinion, my vision, he got clarity. It’s not only about Jordan. I’ve been here now – with my staff – for six months and we gave a chance to everyone. We have an overview of all the players, we know what we want to see and at some point you have to make a decision.
“Sometimes when you make a decision it could be painful for people but it’s important to make that decision to move forward and to make sure we do the right thing for the club. We want to see West Brom having success short term and long-term so at some point you have to make a decision for the club. I think anything can happen until January 31. My expectation now is more that something happens with outgoings.”
Considering just how poor Hugill has been since his arrival in West Bromwich on a season-long loan deal last summer, Ismael’s suggestion that the centre-forward could be in line to make an early departure from The Hawthorns is sure to have left the club’s fanbase buzzing.
Indeed, over his 20 Championship appearances so far this season, the £1.62m-rated man has scored just one goal, has failed to register a single assist and has missed a whopping nine big chances for his side, in addition to hitting the target with just 0.4 shots and making a mere 0.3 key passes per game.
These returns have seen the £36k-per-week forward average an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.56, ranking him as Albion’s fifth-worst performer in the second tier of English football.
As such, it is evident that Hugill is simply not up to the standard required for a side who are pushing for automatic promotion back to the Premier League this season, leading us to believe that Ismael should indeed send the 29-year-old back to Norwich this month.