West Brom manager Steve Clarke has revealed that he is hopeful of extending Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku’s loan stay at the club.
The Belgium international has been the club’s star man this season, netting 12 goals in the Premier League as the Baggies have defied expectations to sit comfortably in the top half.
And, despite speculation suggesting that Fernando Torres will leave Stamford Bridge in the near future, the Scot is optimistic about securing the youngster’s services for another year.
It’s something that will come up for discussion in the summer,” he told reporters. “Chelsea are his parent club, he is their player and they will decide what they want to do first and foremost.
“Then after that, hopefully we will get a chance to put ourselves in the hat. If Chelsea want to leave him out for another season somewhere I think we would have a strong chance of getting him back here, but it is a discussion for the summer.”
The west London outfit paid Anderlecht ┬ú18 million for the now 19-year-old in 2011, but the forward has only ever made one Premier League start in a Blues jersey.
Clarke described how his parent club’s desire to loan him out has benefited all involved, while praising the young Belgian for a work ethic which he believes can help him become one of the best around.
“Chelsea saw it as a long-term investment,” he added. “We’re just pleased that he chose to come to us to get more minutes on the pitch, to get time played in the Premier League. It’s a package that’s been good for all three parties.
“For such a young player the sky is the limit. It’s refreshing for me as a coach to work with a young player with the attitude that he wants to be the best and improve every day.
“He’s one of those players I have to drag in off the training field and say ‘you need to get inside now, go and have a shower and get ready for tomorrow’s session’.”