West Brom young guns make a favourable impression

Valerian Ismael says he has been impressed with a number of Albion’s academy players – with the boss hoping they can force their way into his first-team plans during pre-season.

Valerien Ismael head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion (AMA)
Valerien Ismael head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion (AMA)

Ismael’s coaching career began in youth development with the Frenchman working in the academies at both Hannover 96 and VfL Wolfsburg.

A manager whose counter-pressing philosophy relies on intensity and energy, Ismael is a boss who likes to give young players a chance.

Since his appointment as Baggies head coach, Ismael has started a review to analyse every aspect of the club.

And after spending time in the academy, he’s been left impressed with some of Albion’s up-and-coming stars.

“We have three or four players who have already made an impression,” Ismael said, when asked if he’s spotted any academy players with the potential to step up.

“My first feeling is good.

“There is a high standard of work being done in the academy. I just need to see the next two and three weeks for confirmation from the per- formance.

“We will have a lot of games in pre-season and that will give us a clear picture on the young guys.

“My first feeling is really good.

“But we need time to assess the squad, we don’t need to rush in the transfer market.”

Albion have a host of talented youngsters in their ranks who fans will be eager to see develop over the next few years.

Goalkeeper Josh Griffiths, who is an England under-21 international, signed a new four-year deal with the club earlier this week.

Defender Ethan Ingram and forward Jovan Malcolm also agreed new terms despite receiving significant offers from elsewhere.

Midfielder Rico Richards and strikers Owen Windsor and Callum Morton are also highly thought of.

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