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West Brom’s academy reputation is picking up a trend that may hinder their future

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to Football Insider, West Bromwich Albion youth prospect Jovan Malcolm is wanted by Premier League leaders Liverpool.

But it appears as if a pattern is emerging at the Hawthorns, which probably spells more bad things than good in terms of their long-term future.

What’s the word?

The Baggies’ U18 striker netted four past the Champions League finalists last week as they won 6-3, a game in which Rico Richards featured in before also being linked with a move to the top-flight, per The Sun.

It appears that Liverpool were impressed with what they saw while the same report suggests that other Premier League clubs hold some interest.

Football Insider also claim that Malcolm’s future in the west Midlands is now in doubt despite only being 16 years of age.

Has Luke Dowling transformed West Brom?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Trend emerging

Albion have an impressive reputation for producing emerging talents, but rarely have they been able to keep hold of them.

In the summer, promising striker Louie Barry rejected a contract to sign for La Liga giants Barcelona, and West Brom were powerless in stopping Morgan Rogers join Manchester City for £4m.

They did manage to keep hold of Rekeem Harper despite interest from Juventus and Liverpool, but that decision appears to be a mistake considering he has only managed six minutes in the league all season.

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As mentioned above, they risk losing Richards and even Nathan Ferguson, who broke into first-team stardom this campaign.

His performances under Slaven Bilic have warranted interest from some elite names in Europe, and with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, they’ll be sweating over whether or not they can keep hold of the versatile defender.

Luke Dowling has claimed in the past that the club’s academy is ‘enviable’ and he isn’t far off being wrong, but over the past year, it’s quickly become a talent conveyor belt for other teams to pluck from rather than an opportunity to build from within.

If it continues at this rate, the Baggies are likely flirting with their future ability to develop their own.

Article title: West Brom’s academy reputation is picking up a trend that may hinder their future

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