West Brom must produce 'Something special' to stop Cleary joining Bayern Munich - pundit
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…
West Brom will have to produce “something special” in order to stop Bayern Munich from poaching youngster Reyes Cleary, according to Kevin Phillips.
Last week, the Daily Mail reported that the German titans are in hot pursuit of the 17-year-old striker and have already sent scouts to keep close tabs on his progress at the Baggies.
It is understood that Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim are among the other clubs to have look at Cleary amid his stunning run of form for West Brom’s youth teams.
When asked if it’s basically impossible to keep hold of Cleary amid Bayern’s interest, Phillips told West Brom News: “Unfortunately, yes.
“It would take something special for West Brom to be able to keep hold of him if Bayern Munich come knocking on the door. I did read about that.
“It’s not ideal. When you bring one through, you don’t want to lose them but, unfortunately, that’s football at the minute. Some of these young lads get their heads turned by agents and the draw of playing for Bayern or being involved in their set-up, it’s a huge thing to be able to turn down.
“It is football but you’d like to think that somewhere down the line, someone will advise him to stick where you are because you’ll probably have more first-team opportunities here than at Bayern.
“But sometimes the lure is too much so let’s hope the kid, whatever decision he makes, he makes the right one.”
Cleary is yet to break into West Brom’s senior squad but there’s no way Valerien Ismael can continue to ignore the young forward if he continues to play the way he has been.
This season, the 17-year-old has scored three goals in six Premier League 2 appearances and a further eight goals in his five Under-18s Premier League matches for the Albion.
With Ismael’s first-team strikeforce struggling to score on a consistent basis, it surely cannot be long before Cleary’s in the mind of the manager.
Perhaps a chance in the Baggies’ first-team will lead to Cleary snubbing Bayern’s interest to stay at The Hawthorns.
In other West Brom news, this player could have his loan deal terminated in January amid speculation.