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Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

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Clarke seeks crunch talks with Anelka

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is hoping to sit down with Nicolas Anelka to see whether the striker has any intention of returning to the first-team fold at The Hawthorns.

Nicolas Anelka walked out of West Brom training last week, threatening to retire from football.

Clarke saw striker Matej Vydra come off with a hamstring problem in the first half of Tuesday's 3-0 Capital One Cup victory over Newport County and is short of attacking options after Anelka walked out of training last week following the death of his agent.

The Frenchman threatened to retire and Clarke admitted that he needs to have discussions with the player about his future, with the Baggies keeping their options open with regards to making some signings before deadline day.

“The Nicolas Anelka situation hasn’t really changed but I’m conscious time is short before the window closes and we have to try to get it sorted,” he said.

“The chairman and Richard Garlick are aware we need more players, so hopefully they have been working really hard."

Shane Long, Albion’s other main striker, was not used on Tuesday despite being among the substitutes. His agent is due at the club this week for talks over a contract extension.

Clarke has added another goalkeeper to his wanted list following the loss of Ben Foster for up to 12 weeks and said: “We think Ben Foster can be less than 12 weeks and Boaz Myhill was fit for this tie and on the bench because he had only trained once. I’m happy with how Luke Daniels played but we need more experienced goalkeeper cover."

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