By Olly Allen

7th Dec, 2021 | 9:10am

West Brom cannot hold Reyes Cleary back from first team action for much longer

West Brom fans calling to see Reyes Cleary in the Albion first team is nothing new.

However, after another sensational performance from the 17-year-old, Valerien Ismael may find those calls increasingly hard to ignore.

The forward netted a hattrick in a 3-2 win for the Under-23s against Middlesbrough on Monday evening (6 December).

His first goal was superb, as he turned his marker on the edge of the box before striking the ball into the bottom corner. For his second, he showed poacher-like instincts to pounce on a loose ball in the box and finish. For the third, he received a through ball from Owen Windsor and expertly finished to wrap up the three points.

They were all different types of goal and showed that Cleary has the attributes which make him ready for first team action. Physicality can often be an issue with younger players stepping up to senior football, but the teenager proved he is more than up for a tussle.

In their player ratings for the game, the Birmingham Mail gave the teenager nine out of ten, describing his composure as “tremendous” and writing he has “quick feet, has an eye for a pass and he can get better and better in other aspects”.

Cleary now has six goals in eight appearances this season for Albion’s Under-23 side, in addition to 10 goals in six matches for the Under-18s.

He is a striker brimming with confidence, something which cannot be said for the club’s first team forwards.

Callum Robinson and Jordan Hugill continue to struggle and have scored just four goals between them this season.

With Cleary linked with a move to Bayern Munich and other clubs in Europe [Daily Mail], West Brom’s chances of keeping him may well rest on Valerien Ismael showing him that he will get first team opportunities at the Hawthorns.

In other West Brom news, Joseph Masi has outlined what Albion are “very keen” to do in the January transfer window.

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