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Steve Clarke ponders loan exit for West Brom duo

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Albion boss Steve Clarke today refused to rule out another loan spell for youngster George Thorne – and revealed he could send Craig Dawson out too.

The Baggies head coach believes a six-week spell at Peterborough was key to Thorne's education with the midfielder recalled for the Baggies' Christmas trip to Manchester United.

And he admitted he would consider loaning Thorne, who turned 20 yesterday, again at the end of January should he fall back down the pecking order.

"The loan helped him," said Clarke. "People who saw his performance at Old Trafford know he did well.

"Even when he came into the game against Fulham the other day he showed that he has improved.

"We got some great reports from Peterborough and that loan was just what the boy needed – regular football. I always knew he had big potential but he couldn't break into the side. We used him in the Capital One Cup ties, but really he just needed some game time.

"We will see what is happening towards the end of the month and I would like to keep him playing. So if we get to the situation where he is not getting enough games we would look to put him out again."

Dawson has also struggled for first-team chances this season after falling behind Gabriel Tamas in the race to provide cover for Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley at centre-back. Bolton and Crystal Palace have been linked with loan bids.

And Clarke admitted: "Craig would benefit from playing games and we've discussed him going out on a few occasions this season. But I have three defenders injured so there's no way Craig can leave us just now."

Meanwhile, Albion remain unfazed by reports linking Arsenal with a move for Olsson. The defender reportedly told a Swedish newspaper: "It's flattering but I am focused on West Bromwich and the season."

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