Valerien Ismael offers surprise transfer update on out-of-form striker

Sean Byrne

West Brom manager Valerien Ismael has confirmed Norwich City have not been in contact regarding an early recall of Jordan Hugill.

The striker is meant to be on loan with the Championship club until the end of the season. However, journalist Alex Nixon claimed last week that the Canaries were looking to bring him back to the club this January. Despite this, Ismael insists his parent club have not approached West Brom about an early return.

Speaking ahead of West Brom’s clash against Reading, Ismael claimed he had not spoken to the Premier League club about Hugill.

But the boss did admit that he still expects more from the 29-year-old whilst at The Hawthorns.

He said: “I think that since he (Hugill) came here he has given us a lot of effort.

 “I think we can see he has tried to give everything. Some situations have been unlucky for him.

“He definitely should have scored more goals.

“Against Bristol City he could have four goals in the game.

“And in the Blackpool game and in the Nottingham Forest game he had big chances for us.


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“As a number nine you need to score goals, this is why you get your money.

“But I think his mentality is right. He works hard in training and sometimes the striker just needs the confidence at the right moment.”

Hugill has scored just once in 17 appearances this season, and has failed to make the starting line-up since October.

However, given these recent comments, the former Preston North End star will be hoping he can get back on the pitch and find his confidence again over the busy Christmas period.


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West Brom working to improve squad

Meanwhile, Ismael admitted the club are looking to bring in new players this window.

The January transfer window is just weeks away, and the Baggies boss claims work is already in place for a busy new year.

He said: “We are expecting something to happen.

“It’s clear there is a plan in place. We had a meeting this week and we know exactly what we can do.

“It is a difficult window but now it’s the next step to do the right thing with players and to continue to improve our team, to improve our way to play, maybe give the chance to bring in another fresh player with another mentality.”