Callum Morton has laid down the gauntlet to West Brom this summer and is demanding to be shipped back out on loan if he cannot be guaranteed game time.
The striker is currently out on loan at League One high-fliers Lincoln City who are firmly entrenched in the play-off positions.
Morton, 21, joined the Imps in September alongside teammate Alex Palmer but a shoulder injury ruled him out for a number of months and that has limited him to just 10 league appearances this season, with just two goals to his name.
But he has played eight of their last nine games, making six starts, and he told the Express and Star that now he’s got the taste for regular football again, he doesn’t want to lose that.
“That’s a conversation for the summer with the relevant people so we can see where I am at with my football,” he said.
“It also depends how well I do at Lincoln between now and the end of the season because if I do as well as I did last season, the Championship would be the next natural progression.
“But I wouldn’t be content with being another number in a match day squad so I think if me playing regular minutes would mean going out on loan again, then it would be a sensible option to take.
“Getting chucked into a changing room full of professionals of different ages, backgrounds and lifestyles has definitely been an eye-opener for me.”
Step too far?
Morton had a terrific loan spell at Northampton Town last term, scoring eight goals in 12 appearances to inspire the Cobblers to League Two promotion.
He’s found the step-up to League One a bit more difficult, though that can be heavily explained by his lengthy injury absence.
Now he wants regular minutes in the Championship, but he would surely find that extremely difficult to come by at Albion.
Despite a recent resurgence in the Premier League after two straight wins the likelihood is that Sam Allardyce’s side will be plying their trade in the second-tier next season, and their squad could be suppleented by a number of returning stars, in particular goalkeeper Palmer who has won plenty of plaudits at Lincoln.
Palmer could challenge for the number one jersey if Sam Johnstone departs this summer but we don’t think Morton will be doing similar at the other end of the pitch.
His record doesn’t really dictate that he wil be a regular starter, at least to begin with, due to the wealth of more experiened Champinship options like Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant.
Morton could well line up in the same league next season, but we think he’d be better served moving to a mid-table side where he would have more chance of getting the regular game time he desires.
In other West Brom news, Premier League reject Albion proposal to move key fixture.