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Dropped Jordan Hugill may not get another West Brom chance

Valerien Ismael has hinted Jordan Hugill will struggle for playing time if he remains at Albion during the second half of the season.

Jordan Hugill (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Jordan Hugill (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The 29-year-old has scored just one goal since joining the Baggies on a season-long loan from Norwich in the summer.

Hugill has made seven starts and 12 substitute appearances for Albion this term.

Ismael landed his primary transfer target when the Baggies completed a £7million deal for Daryl Dike on the first day of the transfer window. And the boss opted to leave Hugill out of his squad completely for Albion’s trip to QPR on Saturday – a match they lost 1-0.

Asked if Hugill’s playing time is likely to now be limited following the arrival of Dike, Ismael said: “I spoke to him about the situation, he came to me.

“I think now for him it’s a new situation – we have spoken openly about the situation. With Covid you never know. We could have another five players out so you never know. At QPR it was my decision for that game.”

Speaking earlier this month, Ismael didn’t rule out Hugill returning to his parent club.

But speaking on Friday, Norwich boss Dean Smith said he didn’t think there was a recall clause included in the striker’s loan even though it is common practice.

Smith, though, did say he would be speaking to Hugill over the weekend.

“I don’t believe there is a recall option,” the 50-year-old said. “I’m going to be speaking to Jordan over the next 24 hours to see how he is finding it there.

“I don’t believe there’s a release clause but I’ll have a chat and see how he is.”

Matt Phillips started as Albion’s central striker at Loftus Road despite traditionally being a winger.

And Ismael said he will continue to use the 30-year-old in that role – pushing Hugill further down the pecking order.

“We put Matty in the nine position because we recognised a lot of quality with his runs in behind, his effort out of possession, his understanding of the principle out of possession,” the boss said. “He gives us time with Dike to prepare him but he’s more than an option – he has an important role this season.”

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