Bilic unsure over Harper future

West Bromwich
West Bromwich Albion midfielder Rekeem Harper has signed a new contract to tie him to the club until summer 2022.

West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic says he is yet to make a decision on the future of Rekeem Harper.

Former England Under-19 international Harper burst onto the scene last season, making 17 Championship appearances, and he was expected to became a regular starter for the Baggies in the 2019/20 campaign.

However, the 19-year-old midfielder, who signed a three-year contract with West Brom last summer, has been handed limited opportunities by Bilic and he has made just three appearances in all competitions.

One of those outings came in Sunday’s 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory at Charlton and the Birmingham-born star put in an impressive display, giving the manager food for thought during the current transfer window.

There has been talk of a possible January loan exit for Harper, which would provide more first-team chances, but Bilic has hinted the midfielder could stay at the Hawthorns for the rest of the campaign.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail about the midfielder’s immediate future, he said: “If we think about him and only him, then a loan could help him, but I have to put the club in the first place.

“Especially when he plays like this [against Charlton], I would rather keep him. Definitely.”

If Harper were to be sent out on loan for the second half of the season, it is thought he would join a club further down the division as the Baggies don’t want to aid any of their promotion-chasing rivals.

The likes of Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town and Stoke City have all been mooted as potential destinations as the trio look to pull away from the bottom three.