West Brom attempted to re-sign centre-back Matt Clarke on loan during the summer transfer window, according to reliable journalist Joe Chapman.
The Lowdown: Clarke’s Baggies loan spell
The 26-year-old enjoyed a temporary stint at the Hawthorns last season, arguably standing out as a positive in an otherwise disappointing campaign overall.
Clarke made 33 appearances for West Brom in total, but ended up joining Middlesbrough this summer in what was a long overdue permanent exit from Brighton.
Had things panned out differently, however, the defender could easily be back with the Baggies, following a fresh update.
The Latest: West Brom wanted return for defender
Writing on Twitter, The Birmingham Mail‘s Chapman reports that Steve Bruce and Lai Guochuan tried to bring Clarke in on loan again, and the only reason they missed out was the fact that Boro’s offer was a permanent one:
“Albion did indeed try to secure Matt Clarke’s return in the summer – they’d have landed him on another loan if no other side came in with a permanent offer. Then Boro did.”
The Verdict: Opportunity missed
Clarke showed last season what a competent centre-back he is, winning an average of 3.9 aerial duels per game in the Championship, being hailed as ‘outstanding’ by former Portsmouth teammate Michael Doyle.
It feels like an opportunity missed for West Brom – especially considering their current injury crisis – but it is hard to begrudge the player his move to Boro, considering it was permanent and not on loan.
Clarke could have sured things up at the back for Bruce’s men – they have conceded 14 goals in ten league games this season – but at 26 the Barham-born ace needed to find a long-term home for the next step in his career.
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