West Brom are short of senior players, of that there is no doubt. Just 17 players within our Premier League squad are over the age of 23, and while that presents some problems, there are also some real positives.
The Baggies have been one of the best teams in the league in terms of injury’s sustained, Tony Pulis and his team have lost the fewest days to injury out all PL clubs so far this season.
Whilst this is mightily impressive, and the Albion medical team deserve immense credit, this couldn’t go on all season.
Against Manchester United at the weekend, West Brom featured three homegrown talents on their substitutes bench, players who’ve been with the academy from a young age and are showing real promise.
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The first of which was 18-year-old Sam Field, a player who’s been a regular for the England U19’s in recent weeks, he showed glimpses of what he’s about when he came on against Arsenal in the final few minutes in our last fixture.
He’s a midfielder with a great left foot, good passing range and is very composed on the ball, Tony Pulis has called him the most talented 18-year-old he’s ever worked with!
He made quite an impression on his first PL start for the club earlier this season, performing very well in the game against Middlesbrough.
The second is 17-year-old Kane Wilson, a marauding right-back with real pace and strength.
Ben Foster has previously described him as a ‘little tank’, and is an exciting player that should develop further over the next few years. He’s been a regular on the West Brom bench this season.
The third, and one who some West Brom fans won’t know about, is Rekeem Harper. He’s a powerful box-to-box midfielder who only turned 17 last month, he’s been regular for the U23 side and has impressed Pulis whenever he’s trained with the seniors. One to keep an eye on for the future!
With youth development in England being under the microscope in recent years, I’m extremely proud that my club are not only producing young players of quality, but they are also giving them a pathway into the first team picture.