Steve Bruce reveals West Brom youngster Reyes Cleary has caught the eye
Boss Steve Bruce admits Albion starlet Reyes Cleary has grasped his chance to impress during the international break.
Academy striker Cleary, 18, has trained among the Baggies' senior squad regularly this season but Bruce, unprompted, said the highly-rated striker had really stood out among the first-teamers over the last fortnight.
Albion's Championship business begins again at home to Swansea tomorrow with wins desperately needed given the team finds itself down in 21st following just a sole win in 10.
With forwards in short supply owing to the injury to Daryl Dike and with Kenneth Zohore out the picture, Bruce revealed Cleary's natural finishing ability has caught the eye at the club's training base.
"I have to say and put it out there Reyes has done fantastically well over the last couple of weeks," Bruce said.
"It's good to see him among the first-team squad, it looks as if he's got a chance, the kid.
"He's had a couple of cup run outs, he's still got a lot of work to do don't get me wrong.
"But he's just a natural finisher, which certainly helps, so when he comes up he catches your eye because he smashes it in the goal, which is nice to see.
"He's on a good path, he's been here with us training most of the time, with most of the first-team squad, which is good to see."
Cleary started twice in the EFL Cup this season, against Sheffield United and Derby County, and caught the eye with some sharp play.
The frontman penned a first professional deal during the summer after speculation linking him to big European clubs.
The hotshot has four goals in three games for Albion's under-21s this season.
Dara O'Shea and Jayson Molumby were Albion's only two players away on senior international duty and both featured twice for Republic of Ireland.
Youngsters Zac Ashworth and Ethan Ingram, with Wales and England respectively, were away with the junior set-ups.
Bruce admitted having good squad numbers to train at the Walsall base was useful. Albion played League One Cheltenham, where exciting academy product Caleb Taylor is on loan, in a behind-closed-doors friendly in the first week of the break.
"It was OK. I had a bit of time at home, trying to sleep for a change," the manager added.
"We did, we had enough to train OK. We gave them a long weekend. We've trained and everybody's OK.
"We had a couple, Zac Ashworth (Wales) and Ethan Ingram went to England, the two Irish ones were the only ones away, both played both games and thankfully they are OK.
"Rather than train with four or five we trained with 16, it was a chance to bring the kids up, so we saw a few of them, which is always good."