By Nick Ware

16th Nov, 2021 | 11:10am

Reyes Cleary nears senior West Brom call-up as Valerien Ismael takes close watch

Valerien Ismael is keeping a close eye on Reyes Cleary with a view to promoting him to the West Brom first-team, according to the Birmingham Mail.

Cleary, 17, is currently starring for Albion’s youth teams with 15 goals scored already this season across the Under-18 and Under-23 sides.

Such form has prompted heavy interest from around the continent – the Daily Mail reported in September that Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim were monitoring the teenager while the same publication reported last week that German giants Bayern Munich were stepping up their pursuit of Cleary.

But Ismael looks to be a big fan of the Albion youngster with Birmingham Mail journalist Joseph Chapman claiming that his efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Chapman wrote: “It’s understood that Cleary has been looked at closely in first-team training by boss Valerien Ismael recently, with a view to a call-up to the senior side if needed.”


Cleary looks to have the world at his feet with a number of top European clubs after his signature.

He doesn’t turn 18 until April 2002 but he is already being tipped for a call-up to the West Brom senior side.

Indeed, handing opportunities to Cleary may be Albion’s best chance of keeping him around, for a few more years at least.

The West Midlands club have lost numerous young talents over the last few years, even stretching to a decade.

Most of them either failed to make their senior bow or made just one or two appearances.

Young talents should not be handed game time just to keep them sweet and stop them from leaving, but there needs to be a clear pathway for them and the idea that a senior team breakthrough is around the corner.

Otherwise, why wouldn’t a player move to an ‘elite’ club where they earn more money, elevate their status and train at better facilities?

At this stage, West Brom need to make themselves an attractive destination for young players to ply their trade.

Otherwise, Cleary will soon follow the likes of Finn Azaz and Tim Irogbunam out of the door.

In other West Brom news, Jim White delivered his verdict after Trevor Sinclair made an Albion suggestion live on talkSPORT.

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