West Brom target Saul Shotton ticks the boxes
Albion will sign a ball-playing centre-back who is also strong in the air if they complete their move for Saul Shotton, the defender’s former coach has revealed.
The 18-year-year-old, who played for West Brom’s reserves against Mansfield last week, was at Bury but is now a free agent following their expulsion from the Football League.
Yesterday, reports emerged saying Shotton is set to sign a two-year contract at The Hawthorns.
His father, Ross, later posted on Twitter: “Just like to thank all the coaching staff and fans at Bury.
“You were all fantastic with Saul who signs a two-year deal with West Brom in the week.”
Once his move is completed, Shotton will join up with Albion’s Under 23 squad, where he will be under the guidance of Michael Appleton.
But his signing is a coup for the Baggies with Leeds and Watford having both seen bids rejected for the teenager in his time at Gigg Lane.
Academy manager Mark Litherland is the man who took Shotton to Bury after he was released by Stoke.
“Saul perfectly fit the profile we looked for when signing a player,” Litherland said.
“He is really comfortable on the ball and bringing the ball out of defence.
“He is also good in the air and reads the game well.
“What he has now been given by Albion is a huge opportunity and it’s up to him what he does with it.
“He’s done very well over the past few years.
“He played four games in League One when he was 17-years-old and still a first year scholar and did very well.
“Because of that there has always been interest in him.
“He is a good lad, hard working and conscientious.
“He will always do extra and deserves the move.”
Earlier this month, Albion head coach Slaven Bilic said he wasn’t keen on signing any free agents before the transfer window reopens in January.
But he said he would make an exception if the right youngster came along.
“With the new signings, I’m telling the agents and the people who call that basically we are okay until January,” he said.
“I’m saying ‘listen: give us the player, so we can check him’.
“If there was a one off situation, if it’s a young player and we can use him, then okay – we’d consider it.”