West Brom manager Valerien Ismael expects incomings and outgoings at Albion in January

Next month could prove crucial in the Championship run-in

West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael expects there to be both incomings and outgoings at the Hawthorns in the January transfer window.

With rumours already hotting up around potential arrivals at the Albion, the potential of losing important members of the current squad lingers, though Ismael has reassured the fans that their ‘key players’ won’t be going anywhere.

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Conor Townsend of West Bromwich Albion reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion at Oakwell Stadium

Sam Johnstone has been linked with an exit on numerous occasions and the consistent performances from the likes of Conor Townsend are bound to be attracting attention.

And although that may be the case, the boss was unmoved in his stance whilst also adding he is ‘carefully confident’ of adding a striker through the doors early on.

“No at the minute we don’t need to speak about that,” Ismael said when asked of potential interest surrounding any of his current squad.

“The key players will stay with us.

“The other thing is that it’s the same in January - some players will want to play more and have other expectations, other possibilities - so I think it’s more the type of player we are talking about.”

With the added pressure on clubs to be able to field teams during the latest Covid outbreak, there is worry among some that one outgoing that may be impossible to stop is that of loan defender Matthew Clarke.

Clarke’s parent team Brighton have been hit hard by both injuries and positive tests over the course of the season so far and it wouldn’t be beyond the imagination to see them recalling the centre-back.

But again, Ismael shrugged off the idea claiming it’s not an impossibility but he’s not at all worried about them doing so.

Matthew Clarke of West Bromwich Albion battles for the ball with Lukas Jutkiewicz of Birmingham City during the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City

“I don’t know exactly all the terms in the contract as it’s not my job but at the minute I have no concerns,” he added.

“As I say our purpose is not to lose key players.

“We have our own purpose and it’s more the question of the players that are not playing or not satisfied with their time rather than talking about our key players.

“Our key players are all happy, all want to stay with us and to carry on in this way.

“You never know in football, something that can happen - injury or covid situation but at the minute our purpose is to keep our key players. We want to carry on and continue with our project.”

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