ALBION have today renewed the services of Goran Popov on loan for another season, subject to international clearance.
The Dynamo Kiev left-back will return for the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League campaign, with a view to earning a permanent Hawthorns deal.
The 28-year-old joined the Baggies on loan in a beat-the-deadline move in August last year and went on to make 12 top-flight appearances, providing strong competition for Liam Ridgewell.
“It was always our intention to get Goran back over the summer,” said head coach Steve Clarke, who last week welcomed Nicolas Anelka as Albion’s first summer signing.
“He knows what the club’s about and we know what he’s about.
“He's a good player and it makes sense to bring him back.
“He understands the Premier League better now as well and we will look for even more from him next season."
Popov quickly established himself as fans’ favourite with his robust performances last term and Albion supporters even honoured him with a terrace chant.
Albion Sporting & Technical Director (Designate), Richard Garlick, added: “Everybody at the club is delighted Goran will be with us again this season.
“Having spent last season at the club on loan, we know exactly what we are getting from him.
“He offers us something slightly different to Liam in that position and they will again battle it out for a starting place.”
Popov played for his country at Under-19s and Under-21s level and currently has 39 senior caps to his name.
His early career saw him at Greek side AEK Athens as an 18-year-old and, in 2004, he moved to Red Star Belgrade, where he got his first taste of Champions League football.
Injury prevented him from kicking on with the Serbian outfit and a short loan spell at Polish side Odra Wodzislaw Slaski followed before he returned to Greece in 2005, spending two seasons at Egaleo and one at Levadiakos.
The 6ft2in defender’s performances earned him a move to Heerenveen and he enjoyed his first taste of silverware in 2009 when he won the KNVB Cup, scoring the opener in the final against FC Twente.
He spent one more season with the Dutch top-flight side before making the switch to Ukranian giants Dynamo in 2010, where he bagged two league runners-up medals.