West Brom youngsters can shine next season in the Championship
West Brom fans will be keen to see the club’s promising youth prospects appearing next season after encouraging comments from new head coach Valerien Ismael.
At his unveiling, Ismael, who spent his formative years in coaching in youth development in Germany with Hannover and Wolfsburg, spoke positively about the impact of Baggies’ youngsters in pre-season training so far.
The Frenchman also earned rave reviews during his time at previous club Barnsley for the role he had in promoting and developing young players at Oakwell with his high-intensity style of play relying on energy, something that can be gleaned from youngsters.
“We have three of four players who have already made an impression,” Ismael said, as quoted by the Express & Star.
“There is a high standard of work being done in the academy and my first feeling is really good.”
While refusing to name players, speculation has pointed to young stars Rico Richards, Callum Morton and Rayhaan Tulloch.
Richards, a 17-year-old wonderkid who has been at the club since he was seven, signed a lucrative long-term contract last season despite significant interest from elsewhere and has already been tipped for stardom by Albion favourite Kevin Phillips.
“I do think he’ll get a chance next season,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“I think this manager has shown he can get the best out of players and I think now is the time to start giving younger players an opportunity.
“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.”
Richards has in fact been pictured in pre-season training and could feature over the coming weeks.
Morton meanwhile has shone on loan at Braintree, Northampton Town and Lincoln City in successive seasons and Tulloch is still highly rated despite a disappointing loan spell at Doncaster Rovers last season. All three are expected to compliment Albion’s plethora of riches in attack.
It is hoped that Ismael will lead the Baggies into an era of successfully promoting youth after an exodus of home-grown talent over recent years. This has included Tyler Roberts and Louie Barry while other promising youngsters such as Rekeem Harper, Sam Field and Kyle Edwards failed to kick on after promising starts and have since left the club.
In other West Brom news, Albion are eying a move for this Premier League centre-back.