West Brom secure Belgian star on loan deal

English Premier League side West Brom strengthened their forward line on Wednesday as they signed highly-rated Belgian international Yassine El Ghanassy on a season-long loan from Belgian outfit Gent.

The 22-year-old - capped twice - is awaiting international clearance after passing his medical.

El Ghanassy has played in the Champions League and the Europa League since joining Gent from La Louviere in 2008.

El Ghanassy scored seven goals in his 37 club appearances last season as Gent - who won the league and cup double in 2010 - finished third in the league.

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke, who replaced Roy Hodgson when the latter left at the end of last season to take over as England manager, was delighted to have secured his services.

"He is an exciting prospect who will add something different to our squad," said Clarke, who is in his first head coach role after being an assistant at Chelsea and then Liverpool.

"He has shown in Belgium his ability to put defenders on the back foot and create and score goals."

Clarke admitted that El Ghanassy would have to be given time to acclimatise to his new surroundings and the different culture.

"This is a big move for Yassine. We'll have to be patient with him as he settles into a new country and gets to grips with the demands of the Premier League."

El Ghanassy is the latest Belgian to sign up for a Premier League club.

Among them are Vincent Kompany, who captained Manchester City to the Premier League title last season, Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Arsenal central defender Thomas Vermaelen while playmaker Eden Hazard joined Chelsea in a multi-million pound deal earlier this summer.

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