Express & Star

West Brom face new Liverpool raid on youth

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West Brom are braced for another raid on their academy as Liverpool and Arsenal eye the club's latest youth sensation.


The Premier League rivals are competing to lure away 14-year-old Yan Dhanda just two years after another exciting prospect, Jerome Sinclair, was snaffled by Liverpool at the same stage.

The Anfield club rubbed salt into West Brom's wounds when Birmingham-born Sinclair returned to the Hawthorns last season.

He became Liverpool's youngest first-team debutant at 16 years and six days in a Capital One Cup tie.

Now the Baggies face a repeat and another blow to their hopes of building up a stronger representation of home-grown talent in their future first-team squad.

Dhanda already has a sponsor in Nike and was first spotted in 2010 after winning the Under-11s category of an Asian Soccer Star competition staged at Chelsea to try to improve the quota of players from ethnic minorities.

Dhanda stoked up the interest via his role in the West Brom under-15 team who lost 3-2 to Chelsea's kids in an age-group international tournament last autumn.

Two more departing Baggies players, meanwhile, could end up team-mates again in the Premier League.

Promoted Crystal Palace have offered winger Jerome Thomas a deal just weeks after his West Brom career ended.

And Selhurst Park remains a potential destination for Peter Odemwingie, who has been discussing his future while working as a pundit for Nigerian TV.

He said: "It looks like I will leave the Hawthorns. We are talking now – but where I will end up I don't know.

"I want playing time. Even if it's a team that is not so good, from the Championship – I will go there as I just want to play.

"There was a new manager who came in and it didn't go in my favour. I was moved out of my position.

"I got used to winning Player of the Month awards. But I would have a few games, I was in form, but didn't play – I wanted to move on."

Meanwhile, West Brom were today linked with a £5million move for Wigan striker Arouna Kone.