Following his goalscoring heroics during the Baggies’ final game of 2022, Okay Yokuslu had to be the next cover star on the Albion News to kick off 2023.
The Turkey international, already a fans' favourite from his previous spell at The Hawthorns, got Baggies fans even more excited about his capabilities this season after netting a match-winning brace during the last home game against Preston North End.
Two equally impressive strikes sealed Albion’s fourth straight win on home soil, and in the official club programme’s player feature, ‘Talk us Through’, Okay sits down to chat about several poignant events which have taken his career on an upward trajectory.
Not many players get thrown their professional debut at the age of 15, but Yokuslu was one of them when his first club, Altay SK, handed him a big opportunity in senior football at such a young age.
The now 28-year-old went down in Turkish football folklore after becoming the youngest player to score in the country’s second division in only his second game for Altay back in 2010.
In his feature, Okay believes that he had not gained such a big opening at the start of his career, then he might not have become the player he is today.
From then attention and excitement surrounding Yokuslu’s potential only grew, with the confident, box-to-box midfielder playing in the Super Lig with Kayserispor and Trabzonspor before making his first move overseas to La Liga.
Battling one of the greatest ever footballers in Lionel Messi, scoring his first goal in Spain’s top flight and becoming a more “international” player are all topics for discussion in Yokuslu’s interview, as well as getting a feeling he’s “never had before” when he first came to Albion and begun his tenure in England.
It’s not one to miss this Monday, and with boss Carlos Corberán entering the New Year by encouraging more of the same from his team in the boss’ regular programme notes, flying full-back Deago Nelson and Albion Women defender Hayley Crackle give us some insight on their respective seasons and performances in their usual programme sections.
There’s plenty for Albion supporters to get into, and programmes will be available at all the usual stalls in and around The Hawthorns on Monday afternoon. They can also be purchased from the Stadium Megastore, which is located outside the East Stand.