Boss: Winger not returning

Steve Clarke has ruled out a return to The Hawthorns for Yassine El Ghanassy.

The 22-year-old joined the club on a season’s long loan from Belgium side Gent back in the summer.

But he has subsequently been loaned to Dutch side Heerenveen after failing to break into Albion’s first team.

El Ghanassy has failed to make a single league appearance this season and featured only three times in the Capital Cup.

Clarke admits the winger struggled for confidence after failing to figure in the first team on a regular basis and won’t be part of his plans next season.

“I would say it looks probable that he won’t be here next season,” said the Baggies boss.

“Beyond that I couldn’t say whether Gent will want to have him back or leave him in Holland.

“Our team started the season well, there was no place for him in the starting XI and his time off the bench was really limited as well.

“He just couldn’t break into the team.

“He’s a young player who moved to another country and different team, didn’t get the chance to play and his confidence went down a little bit.

“As a winger he is a confidence player and we just felt in January, rather than keep him until the end of the season and have him miss out and not play many games, it was an opportunity for him to go and play.

“Circumstances and our strong start to the season denied him the opportunity to be in the team.

“We chose to try to help kick-start him by letting him go to another club in another country.”

However, one player who will be returning to the club next season in defender Craig Dawson. The Baggies loaned the Under-21 star to Bolton Wanderers in January to gain experience. But Clarke has reiterated the former Rochdale man remains in his plans.

"His future is here and nothing has changed,” Clarke added. “We sent him out to Bolton to get games and experience under his belt which is what he needs.”

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