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West Brom weigh up loan deal for 26-year-old Turkish star – A move that they don’t need right now?

Celta Vigo's Turkish midfielder Okay Yokuslu (L) vies with Real Madrid's Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos during the Spanish league football match between RC Celta de Vigo and Real Madrid CF at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on November 11, 2018. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

Why West Brom should avoid a move for Okay Yokuslu 

According to the Daily Mail, West Brom are weighing up a loan deal for Celta Vigo midfielder Okay Yokuslu to bolster their ranks in the January transfer window. 

As per the report, Baggies boss Sam Allardyce is keen to bring in some extra protection for his backline and has identified central midfield as an area that requires investment this month. Albion have made contact with the La Liga club, who are believed to be open to offers for the 26-year-old Turkish international. 

Profile

Okay Yokuslu started his professional career at Altay in the Turkish second-tier before moving to the top-flight with Kayserispor in 2011. After making 111 appearances over four seasons, the midfielder was snapped up by heavyweights Trabzonspor, where he went on to establish himself as one of the best in his position in the Super Lig. 

Celta Vigo’s Turkish midfielder Okay Yokuslu (R) challenges Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on February 16, 2020. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP) (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

The Turk’s burgeoning reputation in his homeland paved the way for a move to Spain with Celta Vigo in the summer of 2018. Yokuslu made an instant impact in the La Liga, starting as many as 50 games over the course of his first two seasons at Celta Vigo. However, he has slipped down the pecking order this term, starting only thrice in the league so far. 

The defensive midfielder has scored twice in 71 appearances in all competitions for Celta so far while also amassing 29 caps for Turkey at the senior international level. 

Another midfielder?

Yokuslu has been a decent performer for Celta Vigo in the La Liga over the past couple of years. Having said that, however, it is worth pondering over whether West Brom really need another midfielder to help them in their battle against relegation. 

It’s true that the Turk’s versatility to operate in defensive midfield and centre-back roles and would offer Allardyce some extra cover heading into a hectic second half of the season. But it’s hard to figure out whether he would be a genuine upgrade on what the Baggies already have.

France’s midfielder Corentin Tolisso (L) vies with Turkey’s midfielder Okay Yokuslu during the Euro 2020 Group H qualification football match between France and Turkey at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris on October 14, 2019. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Jake Livermore remains a seasoned campaigner in the Premier League while Romaine Sawyers has also done a decent job in the middle. With loanees Conor Gallagher and Filip Krovinovic also capable of playing in a variety of positions, the Baggies don’t really need to prioritise the recruitment of another player in that department.

Livermore and Semi Ajayi are also capable of switching between holding midfield and centre-back roles. Hence, if West Brom are looking to improve their backline – they currently have the worst defensive record in the division with 41 goals conceded in 18 games – the Baggies might as well look for some specialist options.

Albion have also had their fair share of struggles in front of goal, scoring just 14 goals in the PL so far. They will surely need to improve on those numbers if they are to beat the drop, meaning a new striker should be high on the agenda instead of a midfielder.

Turkey’s midfielder Okay Yokuslu (R) is challenged by Iceland’s midfielder Victor Palsson during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group H match between Turkey and Iceland at Turk Telekom Stadium in Istanbul, on November 14, 2019. (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)

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Verdict

With all due respect to Okay Yokuslu, the Turk would be just another squad player at the Hawthorns. That’s clearly not what West Brom need in this window to help them in their battle against relegation. The Baggies are crying out for some immediate game-changers to improve their squad and the 26-year-old hardly fits the bill in that regard.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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