Sam Allardyce: West Brom have helped Okay Yokuslu settle

Sam Allardyce has revealed the secret to Okay Yokuslu’s impressive start at Albion – his new driver.

Okay Yokuslu of West Bromwich Albion
Okay Yokuslu of West Bromwich Albion

The Turkish international has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water ever since arriving on loan from Celta Vigo last month.

And Allardyce revealed his driver – who is also from Turkey – has been helping the midfielder settle into life in the UK.

“I was speaking to Jill (club administrator Jill Pearson), Jill does a lot of work behind the scenes here, and she booked his first driver,” the boss said.

“As soon as he jumped in the car, the driver was Turkish.

“Okay is now delighted, his new best mate is his Turkish driver who drives him around – that has made him feel at home straight away.

“It all helps, it helps to get the family settled and the player settled.

“I’ve seen a lot of players, a lot of top quality players, come in from abroad at big prices in January and fail miserably.

“Our task is always to get these players in and hit the ground running.

“Mbaye (Diagne) has done that and Okay is doing it too.”

A natural holding midfielder, Yokuslu has wowed fans with his tough tackling and how he reads the game.

But Allardyce has been just as impressed with his passing range.

And he says the 26-year-old reminds him of Real Madrid greats Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo – who the boss famously worked with during his successful spell at Bolton.

“The biggest plus for me is his (Yokuslu’s) range of passing,” the 66-year-old continued. “I think we’ll see more of that.

“I can’t put him in the category of Fernando Hierro, or Ivan Campo, but he’s not far off.

“They were Real Madrid greats when they were playing for that club, but he’s certainly got a very good passing range like those two boys had.

“If I’m talking about him in the same light as them, it’s a big compliment for him.

“Hopefully, we’ll see him opening up defences more from that position and giving players the freedom to release themselves and the opportunity to attack because he finds them with the right pass.”

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