Sam Allardyce aiming to stay up and keep Okay Yokuslu at West Brom

Albion boss Sam Allardyce will target the permanent signing of Okay Yokuslu if his side avoid Premier League relegation this season.

Okay Yokuslu of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)
Okay Yokuslu of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

The tough-tackling midfielder has been a welcome addition to the Baggies side since joining on-loan from Spanish side Celta Vigo in January.

He has added a bite to the middle of the park as Albion target top flight safety and when asked if the club will sign Yokuslu permanently if the Baggies go down, Allardyce was determined not to entertain that possibility and instead target signing the 27-year-old if they stay up.

Allardyce said: “I’m not giving you a worst case scenario. Let’s talk about Okay playing for West Brom in the Premier League, because the first thing we’ll do if we stay up is sign him up, absolutely. It’ll be the first thing on the agenda – get him signed!”

Yokuslu hit the ground running at The Hawthorns and needed little time to settle into the demands of the Premier League.

And Allardyce insists it is no surprise to see him flourish.

“I’ve done many of these types of signings, and I’m either a genius or I’m very lucky – or both. You listen to how many managers talk about how it’s no good bringing in players in January from abroad, because it takes them far too long to adjust.

“They seem to wait forever – ‘it’s next season when they’ll be any good’.

“We’ve got Mbaye and particularly Okay, who is playing like he’s been here for five or six seasons, and that’s in a side who has been struggling.

“I have to give those two lads great credit for taking on the challenge, as well as Ainsley coming from Arsenal. The experience they’ll have gained will stand them in good stead, but hopefully they could possibly be here next year if we stay in the Premier League.”

Meanwhile, Allardyce has called on loanee Conor Gallagher to add more goals to his game if he wants to become a Chelsea regular in the future.

Reports suggest Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is considering using Gallagher next season.

The England Under-21 international has netted twice for Albion this season when asked what he needs to do to improve and be a success at Chelsea, the message was clear from Allardyce.

“He needs to score more goals,” he said.

“I see him as an attacking midfield player more than a defensive one.

“And assists passing – which he has got a huge amount of time to do with the experience he has gained.

“The natural development of his body means he will become stronger, fitter.

“He will be more capable of producing those moments when he fills out and matures.

“You haven’t seen the final product yet.

“Physically he will get better and that will allow him to get technically better.

“They are the two things I’d be looking at him to improve to get into the Chelsea team - assists and scoring goals.

“But if we stay in the Premier League I would want him to be here next year.”

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