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Darren Moore: Youngsters are given a chance at West Brom

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Darren Moore believes Rekeem Harper's impressive performance against Norwich proves youngsters are given a chance at Albion.

Rekeem Harper impressed on his full league debut for Albion. (AMA)

The 18-year-old midfielder sparkled on his first league start for the Baggies, putting in a coming-of-age display that suggests he's ready for the first team.

Moore was a coach in the Albion academy for five years before being promoted to first team coach.

Although the club's academy products have been given starts in both Cups, they have found minutes in the league hard to come by this season.

The Baggies have also been searching for a central midfielder this month, the area where two of their best academy products – Harper and Sam Field – ply their trade.

And when Moore was asked if Harper's performance had changed his priority in the transfer window, he said: "What Rekeem's performance has done is highlight that I really have no qualms about putting young players in.

"It identifies the work we've done with Rekeem, in terms of his progression coming up from the academy.

"It just goes to show there is good work going on with our young players.

"The message is clear to all young players at West Brom, you have the opportunity to play at first team level.

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"We saw that from Rekeem, there's been other young players who have stepped in and done similar roles.

"I'm pleased for Rekeem, that game will do his confidence the world of good."

Albion's priorities in the window may naturally shift towards the forward line following Harvey Barnes's recall by Leicester.

But Moore – who has taken his squad to Dubai until Thursday for a warm weather training camp – says the Baggies have to move on.

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"There were excellent performances from Jay Rodriguez, Hal Robson-Kanu and Dwight Gayle in those three top areas where Harvey would have operated in," he said.

"It would be terrible to single one of them out, to say had Harvey been playing he would have scored. Those three created chances.

"Their keeper (Tim Krul) pulled off save after save, I'm really happy with the performance of the boys. We've got to move on."

Meanwhile, Albion have confirmed that former Villa goalkeeping coach Gary Walsh has joined Moore's backroom staff.

And Wigan Athletic are reportedly eyeing up a loan offer for left-back Conor Townsend.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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