May 21 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Steve Clarke was delighted to persuade on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku to join West Brom ahead of Fulham.
West Brom face the Cottagers at Craven Cottage today, and Clarke has revealed Lukaku could be lining up for the opposition, as Fulham were keen on the Belgian in the summer.
But former Chelsea assistant manager Clarke says he persuaded the 19-year-old to join West Brom by promising he would improve him as a player.
Lukaku scored on his West Brom debut against Liverpool on the opening day of the season and has recovered from an ankle injury in time to be in contention to face Martin Jol’s side.
Clarke said: “I believe Fulham were interested. I’m sure there were a number of other clubs interested.
“I can understand him wanting to stay near his house - he has a place in Cobham. Fulham would have been close, QPR too.
“But it’s not about how nice your house is or how comfortable you are in the evening, it’s about how well you are improving as a player and that was the most important thing for Romelu.
“He wanted to improve. He felt as though he could do that here which was great for us.
“I spoke to the boy a few times and explained how close he would be to the first team at all stages.
“I promised that over the course of the training and matches for us that we would improve him as a player. Hopefully I can live up to that promise.