GEORGE Thorne admits it will be tougher than ever to break into Albion’s first team this season – but is hoping for the opportunity to show what he has got.
The 20-year-old midfielder made the most of his chances for the Baggies last term – prior to suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury at Everton in January.
And the Academy product, who enjoyed a successful Championship spell at Peterborough before Christmas last campaign, is open to the prospect of going out on loan again in order to get valuable game time.
“I had a spell last season where I got the chance to show what I can do,” said Thorne.
“Hopefully, this season I can push on from there.
“I want to give the gaffer an idea of what I am as a player.
“It looks as though there are going to be some very good players on our bench so I know it’s going to be difficult.
“For the team it’s great and it’s good to have good players coming off the bench.
“In terms of competition for places it’s always good to have quality players around.
“For me personally, if there’s an opportunity for me to go and play some games, then we’ll sit down and have a look at that.
“Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to play some football and get back to where I was.
“If I can get back to where I was before my injury I’ll be challenging for a place.
“It will be tough but that’s what Premier League football is all about.”
Thorne believes he can only benefit from being surrounded by players of the ilk Albion recruited during the summer transfer window.
“It’s very useful for me to be surrounded by quality footballers," he added.
“The players we have here have achieved things in the game that I aspire to achieve myself.
“Each individual in the squad can learn from other individuals.
“As a youngster I’m always looking to pick up things off the other players.
“Anelka is obviously a big name and to have someone like that in training and in and around the building is very positive.
“It’s certainly a good thing for me and for the other youngsters at the club.
“It would be great to play alongside the quality players we have.
“My aim is to become a first XI player.”