Express & Star

Fenton Heard pens West Brom deal as Albion snap up ex-Wolves youngster

Attacking midfield prospect Fenton Heard has agreed a new contract at Albion following interest in his services this summer.

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The 19-year-old academy star has signed a one-year deal at The Hawthorns, with the option of a second year in the club's favour.

Great Barr-born Heard has been at the club since he was seven and caught the eye on his senior debut in the FA Cup last season, where he put in an impressive performance against Aldershot at The Hawthorns.

The Express & Star understands Heard was a late returner to Albion pre-season training. He checked in last Friday, a week or so after team-mates, following EFL interest while the attacker was out of contract.

That is not unusual for somebody out of contract, as players assess potential options while deciding on their future. Heard was the final of Albion's crop of under-21 players to agree to sign a deal, following Evan Humphries, Archie Kirton, Adriel Walker, Deago Nelson and Reyes Cleary. Ethan Ingram, meanwhile, opted to depart for Dundee.

All, Hearn and Cleary aside, signed first professional deals. Hearn penned his first pro contract a year ago.

It was also a big breakthrough year for Richard Beale's under-21s for Heard, who scored seven goals in 25 outings for the second string side. Heard typically plays in the No.10 role behind a frontman.

Meanwhile, the Baggies under-21s have secured fellow free agent defender Muhamed Diamonde on a two-year professional deal.

Italian Diamonde was released by Wolves at the end of last season and played in a trial game for Beale's side in the final game of the campaign against Leeds.

The 18-year-old central defender will be a part of Beale's squad. Albion's under-21s embark on a week-long tour of Slovenia for pre-season next week.