West Brom boss Steve Clarke has warned new loan singing Romelu Lukaku that he will have to fight for his place following his recent arrival from Chelsea.
The Belgian youngster moved to Stamford Bridge from Anderlecht last summer for a fee thought to be around£18million but failed to establish himself in the Blues’ line-up, making just one first-team start.
The powerful 19-year-old was seen by many who bet on sports as the direct replacement for Didier Drogba but has labelled his first year in England as a “waste of time”.
Following the recent influx of attacking talent at Chelsea, Lukaku was recently sent on-loan to the Hawthorns to gain some valuable first-team experience and is expected to play a major role for the Baggies.
However, despite his talent Clarke has warned the player that he cannot expect to play every week and must earn his place in the squad.
The Black Country side already have a number of talented strikers, with the likes of Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie in their ranks and the boss says no-one is guaranteed a spot in his side, regardless of their reputation.
“He’s certainly hungry, I know that he wants to do well and prove himself in the Premier League,” said Clarke, who is out to defy the latest odds and lead West Brom to a top ten finish.
“Whether he has grievances with Chelsea is not for me to comment on. I don’t know what happened last year at Chelsea.”
“It was obviously going to be difficult for him to get in the team ahead of Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres and that proved to be the case.
“But he’s got a clean slate this year. He’s one of a number of strikers competing for a place in my team and I’m hoping that at the end of this year he’s not complaining about anything,” he added.