Baggies stay more important than Champions League football for Popov

Goran Popov would love to stay at West Bromwich Albion, and is even prepared to give up on UEFA Champions League football to do so.

Goran PopovThe 27-year-old joined the Baggies on deadline day on a season-long loan deal, but didn’t complete the switch in time to feature in the 2-0 win over Everton the following day. Popov, who has 41 international caps for Macedonia, will hope to debut when Steve Clarke takes his unbeaten side to Fulham on 15 September, although he will have to dislodge Liam Ridgewell from the left-back berth.

Albion have made a fine start to the new season, having opened with a 3-0 win over Liverpool, which was followed up with a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur before the Toffees were defeated last Saturday. This has lifted them to third place in the Premier League table, and such a sequence of results has impressed their new signing.

There is an option in Popov’s temporary deal which could see him join West Brom on a permanent basis from Dynamo Kiev next summer. And although this would likely deny him Champions League football with his parent club, the defender has made it clear that he sees his future in the English top-flight and with Albion.

“I hope after this one year I will sign for two or three more,” he told the Birmingham Mail. “Dynamo usually finishes first or second in Ukraine and as I have a three-year contract there I know – if I go back – I’ll be able to play Champions League football. But I will only have one chance to come to England and I want to use it because I always dreamed of it.”

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