Steve Clarke
Clarke will be hoping to build on West Brom's impressive 12/13 season. (Reuters)

Under Steve Clarke's direction, West Brom achieved their best ever Premier League finish when the ended the campaign in eighth, their most successful season in the top flight since the club finished fourth in old English First Division in 1981.

The Baggies operated well in the transfer market, impressed on the pitch and provided every indication that they have established themselves as a presence in the top half of the league, having finished 10<sup>th and 11<sup>th in previous seasons.

Whether Clarke can replicate such feats or perhaps even better them could depend on how the club cope with the several departures from the club.

Business so far

Romelu Lukaku, the club's top scorer last season has returned to Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho indicating the Belgian will be in the club's first team plans. Zoltan Gera, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Jerome Thomas have all left the Baggies after their contracts expired, while Steven Reid seems certain to join them after he failed to make enough appearances last campaign to activate a one year extension.

Despite the departures, Clarke has indicated that there is no need for radical change at the club, suggesting direct replacements will be brought in in order to maintain the balance the Scot has instilled at the Hawthorns.

What they need

Although the club still have Shane Long in their ranks, West Brom are likely to need forward cover given Lukaku's departure. The Republic of Ireland international is a capable Premier League goal scorer, but with the inept Markus Rosenberg the only other option up front, help is needed. The departure of Thomas suggests the club could also benefit from an added presence on the wings.

Who could join

Clarke has indicated that the club are in no rush to go out spending, with the Scot preferring a more patient approach during the hectic summer months. Dieumerci Mbokani of Lukaku's former club Anderlecht has been linked with a move to the Midlands club in recent weeks, and could provide the same power and clinical finishing the Chelsea man provided in abundance last season.

Bakary Sako, who was perhaps the one positive in what was a miserable campaign for Wolves last season has also been linked with a move. The Frenchman's dynamism on the wing could certainly help fill the void left by recent departures.

Who could leave

You would be unlikely to find a bookmakers willing to take bets on Peter Odemwingie leaving the club this summer. After January's spectacular transfer deadline day fiasco where the Nigerian travelled to Queens Park Rangers without the club's permission, his fate was sealed. A former fan favourite, Odemwingie is now a reviled figure around the Hawthorns, and the club are likely to rid themselves of the 31-year-old as soon as possible, with Swansea City touted as a possible destination.

What the manager has said

"I think my ideas on the squad are similar now to how they were as the season progressed," Clarke told the Albion website. "I don't think we need radical reshaping of the squad.

"It's a squad that has finished in the top 11 of the Premier League for the last three seasons. There are three or four players that won't be here next season that need to be replaced and we have to replace them wisely - but that's normal."

While the club will need to replace a number of players, Clarke's measured approach to management suggests the club will address their concerns adequately in due course. The Scot has steered the club into a fantastic position and will be determined to prolong the club's stay in the top half of the table into next season.