By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

13th Jul, 2021 | 6:10pm

Kevin Phillips wants Rico Richards to break into West Brom senior squad

We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…

Kevin Phillips wants young attacker Rico Richards to get a chance to shine at West Brom in their pre-season fixtures.

Richards, 17, is one of the more impressive young players the Baggies have on their books at the moment.

As shown on the England youth international’s Instagram page, he has already been training with Valerien Ismael’s senior squad ahead of the 2021/22 Championship campaign.

When asked if Richards will get a chance next season, ex-striker Phillips told West Brom News: “I do, yes.

I think this manager’s shown he can get the best out of players and I think now is the time to start giving younger players an opportunity. Not just at West Brom – throughout the country.

You don’t give them an opportunity unless you feel they’re good enough but this kid will hopefully be training with the first-team and get chucked in a pre-season game. Hopefully he’ll shine.

You’ll only get an opportunity if you shine throughout pre-season. If you don’t perform you won’t but I hope he does.

I’d like to see a few young players given a chance next season.”

Richards has been on the books at West Brom since he was seven-years-old and has made two senior squads already.

He was an unused substitute on both occasions but there’s no doubt he would have had some good experience from being sat on the bench in FA Cup matches against Charlton and Blackpool in the last couple of seasons.

Richards may only be 17-years-old but he’s already been called up to a training camp for England’s Under-19s and played 15 times in Premier League 2 for Albion’s Under-23s.

He can go far. He just needs a manager who trusts him.

In other West Brom news, Albion are eying a move for this Premier League centre-back.

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