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West Brom's Okay Yokuslu likely to make second debut in Sheffield United League Cup clash

Okay Yokuslu is likely to make his second Albion debut in the League Cup clash against Sheffield United on August 11, manager Steve Bruce has confirmed.

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The Baggies pulled off a transfer coup when they signed Yokuslu on a three-year deal earlier this month after he previously impressed while on loan at The Hawthorns in 2021.

The Turkish international was snapped up following his release from Spanish side Celta Vigo.

But he only arrived eight days ago and hasn't completed a full pre-season or played in any friendlies.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's season opener at Middlesbrough, Bruce revealed Yokuslu has trained twice with his team mates this week.

But he has spent the majority of his time with Albion's fitness staff – with Bruce believing the midfielder will likely be up to speed ahead of the cup game against the Blades in around 10 days time.

"He (Yokuslu) has worked with Tony (director of medical Tony Strudwick) for the last six days he has been in," the boss said.

"We had that problem getting him in with his Visa.

"He has trained twice with the team. It's always a difficult one.

"I think this weekend will probably be a little bit too early for him.

"I’m looking at maybe the cup game against Sheffield United in a few weeks time."

Bruce knows heading into the new season that Albion have to be serious promotion contenders this term.

But they couldn't face a tougher start – with Middlesbrough tipped by multiple pundits to be potential title winners.

In Chris Wilder they have a vastly experienced manager who has won promotion into the Premier League before.

Bruce, though, says Albion are travelling to the Riverside Stadium confident of getting a result.

"They (Middlesbrough) are going to be up there," the 61-year-old said.

"They've played a certain way under Chris (Wilder) who has been there a good eight months now.

"I think they'll be there or thereabouts.

"There seems to be a feel-good factor around there as well. It's a big game, live on the TV, that's what we are all in it for.

"It's a tough start but they'll be thinking the same.

"Let's hope we can get off to a good start."

Wilder had to cut his teeth as a manager in the lower leagues before he got his shot at Sheffield United in 2016.

Now, though, he is widely regarded as one of the best bosses in the Championship.

And Bruce says he's always been impressed with the 54-year-old.

"He (Wilder) has done fantastically well all throughout his career," Bruce added.

"I have spoken highly about him on many occasions.

"When you look at the job he did at Halifax, to Northampton, to Oxford.

"Then he got his teeth into Sheffield United where people really took notice.

"He has been on of them in the lower divisions and I’m sure there are lot more like him who have managed at that level but not got a chance.

"His team’s always play a certain way.

"They are always difficult to play against, difficult to beat.

"But it should be a good game."