Albion boss Graham Potter has explained why recent signing Matt Clarke has been allowed out on loan.

The former Portsmouth defender will spend the coming season under the guidance of Phillip Cocu at Derby County.

Potter had tracked Clarke even before taking over as Albion boss.

He said: “We brought Matt to the club as a long-term prospect and initially wanted him to spend pre-season here — and he has trained well and worked hard.

“Our plan was to make sure he would play regular senior football this coming season and continue the excellent progress he’s made over recent seasons.

“This loan move to the Championship with Derby gives him a chance to play regularly in a competitive division and is the next logical step for his own development.”

Clarke is under contact with Albion until 2023.