By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

26th Jul, 2021 | 11:10am

Kevin Phillips reacts as Aston Villa agree to sign West Brom talent Finn Azaz

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 is concerned by the number of young players who are opting to quit West Brom.

Aston Villa seem to be using the Albion’s youth ranks as a pond to fish in when it comes to their youth recruitment with Finn Azaz reportedly the latest on their radar.

According to Football Insider, Villa have agreed to sign 20-year-old Azaz, who impressed while on loan at Cheltenham Town last season as they won the League Two title.

Tim Iroegbunam is also understood to have agreed to leave the Baggies in favour of a move to Villa Park while Fenton Heard is also wanted by the Villans.

Academy staff members Mark Harrison, Mike Scott and Steve Hopcroft have all left West Brom in the last couple of years too to join Villa.

It’s a trend that has left a lot of fans furious and Phillips feels as though something could be going wrong behind the scenes.

Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “I saw it up at Sunderland when they lost a lot of their young players. Nobody wants to see that and I think as a supporter, it’s not great to hear or read.

There’s got to be a reason behind it.

Maybe the players don’t see a route through, maybe they’ve been told with the new manager coming in that he wants experience.

There could be various reasons but it’s not great.

At some point, West Brom have to give these young players an opportunity and this season could be a good chance to bleed a few in with the experienced players.

But I do kind of get it in the way that they want to bounce straight back and can young players do that for them?

It’s always a slight concern when young players leave the club.”

In other West Brom news, Joseph Masi has shared an update on Conor Hourihane after he was linked with the Albion.

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