Steve Clarke hoping Chelsea resist recalling Lukaku from his loan spell

Steve Clarke has praised on-loan Romelu Lukaku, who made a rare start and scored the winner in West Brom’s 2-1 win over Norwich City, admitting that he wished to keep the Belgian striker on-loan past January.

Clarke said: ‘Romelu has done well, he is a big talent, he has got a big future ahead of him in the game.

‘The fact he couldn’t get in the team for most of the season is down to the form of Shane Long who shouldn’t be forgotten today.

‘Shane made a difference when he came onto the pitch, he tied up the other centre-back, has given a bit more space to Romelu, and maybe that’s why he has got the space for the winning goal.

‘It’s a team effort and we don’t like to single out individuals.’

‘He is on a season-long loan but there is an opportunity for the parent club to take him back in January. I can’t affect it so I don’t like to talk about it.’

Clarke felt Albion were struggling for form in winning their first game in 5, adding: ‘It was another performance where we were a bit scratchy. We are not quite flowing as we were early in the season.

‘When you are coming in after four games without a win, there comes a bit more pressure on it. We spoke about it before the game. It was a big game for us today and it was important we got the three points.’

I hope we do recall the forward, who has been proving himself at West Brom this season. We are being linked with a host of forwards, forgetting what we’ve got. We can’t afford to lose out on Falcao, and two strikers is the squad is not enough. Falcao, Torres and Lukaku would be ideal. If we sign another striker with Falcao then Lukaku could fall down the pecking order and become unhappy. If he was to leave Chelsea, I predict it would come back to bite us in the bum. Lukaku is a great talent and is still only 19. Should Lukaku stay at West Brom for guaranteed football? Or should he return to Chelsea where an extra striker is needed?

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