West Brom boss Clarke eyes Lukaku stay

The former Chelsea assistant manager is confident of extending the 19-year-old’s stay at the Hawthorns if the west London club are receptive to the idea of a further loan spell
West Brom manager Steve Clarke is keen to retain the services of top-scorer Romelu Lukaku and has heralded the on-loan Chelsea teenager as one of the game's brightest young prospects.

The Belgium international struggled for starts at Stamford Bridge after his £18 million switch from Anderlecht in 2011, but the guarantee of regular football has seen Lukaku excel at the Hawthorns.

The teenage hitman has netted 12 times in 25 outings and Clarke is hopeful of retaining his star striker as he seeks to cement his side as one of the mainstays of the top 10.

"It's something that will come up for discussion in the summer," Clarke told reporters.

"Chelsea are his parent club, he is their player and they will decide what they want to do first and foremost.

"Then, after that, hopefully we will get a chance to put ourselves in the hat.

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"If Chelsea want to leave him out for another season somewhere, I think we would have a strong chance of getting him back here."

Irrespective of what the future holds, Clarke believes that the loan deal has been a masterstroke for all parties and is confident that Lukaku is destined for greatness.

He added: "It's good for us that everybody sees he's a good player because we've had the benefit of his good performances and his goals, and it’s been good for Romelu, Chelsea and us.

"He has all the attributes to be a really top player. He is very level-headed and he understands why he came here and what he has got to do in the future to be a big player at a really big club.

"For such a young player, the sky is the limit.

"We will just try to help him along the way with that. We're just pleased that he chose to come to us to get more minutes on the pitch in the Premier League."