REPUBLIC of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has suggested that Albion striker Aaron Connolly could benefit from a loan move away from the club.

The striker has only featured twice in Graham Potter's Premier League side so far this season, and both times were as a substitute in games against Watford and Crystal Palace.

Connolly has fallen down the pecking order behind talisman Neal Maupay and former Manchester United and Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck.

The 21-year-old did manage two goals in Albion's Carabao Cup victory against Swansea City last month, and could get a couple more opportunities soon with Welbeck's hamstring problems.

Connolly was ill over the weekend and will have his fitness assessed ahead of the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan on Saturday.

His international manager, Stephen Kenny, wants to see him playing more regularly.

He said: "It's not been easy for him. Sometimes they, Albion, play with one striker, you've got two other international strikers playing ahead of him. You've got to wait for opportunities as well.

"He scored two goals in the Carabao Cup, I was at the game. Two good goals, but he's not really figured since.

"Opportunities are difficult in the Premier League, some of the younger strikers get to go in the Championship on loan."

Connolly showed a lot of promise when he first came into the Albion first-team, scoring twice on his full Premier League debut as he inspired a 3-0 home victory for Albion against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Argus: Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny during a training session at the Hive Stadium, Barnet. PA Photo. Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny during a training session at the Hive Stadium, Barnet. PA Photo.

However, since the initial success, his Albion career has stuttered as he has not been able to manage consistent time on the pitch, after a drop in form and injury lay-offs.

Kenny has said that ex-Albion striker, Viktor Gyokores, has benefitted from going on loan as well as Tottenham's Troy Parrott, who has dropped down to Milton Keynes Dons in League One.

He said: "We were looking at the Swedish Under-21 striker who was at Brighton who has got a lot of goals for Coventry, Viktor Gyokores. He played against us in the Under-21s.

"He got an opportunity to go on loan in Europe, St Pauli in Germany, and come back to Championship. Sometimes staying still as a striker as a number three, it's difficult to progress.

"Someone like Troy Parrott, even though he's gone down to League One, he's finding his feet, getting a few goals and learning the game."

If Aaron Connolly continues to struggle for game time at the Amex Stadium, then perhaps a temporary move away could be a positive step in reaching his potential.