Slaven Bilic has suggested that West Bromwich Albion could consider loaning Cedric Kipre out during the January transfer window, in comments reported by the Express and Star.
Kipre has endured a tough start to life at the Hawthorns. The 23-year-old looked to be a shrewd signing for a Baggies side that were working with a tight budget ahead of their return to the Premier League.
However, he is yet to appear in the top flight. Both of his appearances so far came in the Carabao Cup.
Bilic praised Kipre ahead of West Brom’s clash with Sheffield United this weekend. But he claimed that the door for a January loan could be open should he remain out of the picture.
“I told him to be fit. He is training really good, he is a great guy. He is fit, he is focused. He is a good player,” he said, as reported by the Express and Star. “You never know with form, with the situation with coronavirus, and injuries, you never know. You have to be ready.
“That’s what you have to do, and then wait for the chance. January isn’t that far. I spoke to him a week ago, let’s say, and January is only in a couple of months.
“Then we’ll see what the situation is. Is it going to improve, his status, here? Or is he going to go on loan? Nobody knows right now.”
It is a smart decision to keep all options open. Of course, Kipre would have liked to have played more.
But it has arguably got to the stage where it is only getting tougher for Bilic to justify bringing him in for a Premier League debut.
West Brom have struggled in the top flight. But their defence has arguably performed a lot better than their current league position would suggest.
Only a late goal cost them a clean sheet against Tottenham. And they should have had the chance to leave Old Trafford with three points at the weekend. However, some farcical decisions saw them fall to another 1-0 defeat.
Kipre’s time at the Hawthorns may still come. But perhaps a loan move in January may ultimately offer his best chance to prove a point to Bilic.