This article is part of Football FanCast’s In The Pipeline series, which takes a look at some of the most promising young talent either linked with clubs or emerging from their academies…
Quite often, the academies of Aston Villa and in particular, West Brom, gain the most attention in the Midlands so much so that Wolves’ cohort of next stars goes under the radar.
And that’s rather harsh considering the array of talent that’s on offer at the club.
You’ve got a pair impressing on loan at Doncaster Rovers in Niall Ennis, who has scored and assisted one goal in five starts, and Cameron John, who has attracted the interest of several Premier League rivals.
Then there are prospects plucked from elsewhere like Bruno Jordao from Lazio and Meritan Shabani, who has featured three times for Bayern Munich’s senior side – both have been making their presence heard for the U23s.
But earlier this week, Benny Ashley-Seal fired his name into the limelight as he netted a hat-trick past League Two outfit Carlisle United in their EFL Trophy opener on Tuesday night.
The fact he scored three past full-time professional footballers instead of fellow youngsters is a key moment as it suggests he is up to the standard of the men’s game, albeit against a team lower down the English pyramid.
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Fosun’s plans to build a successful academy have been clear in the past and this season it may finally be coming to fruition, particularly after this promising display from a young player against senior opposition.
They just need a few players to break into Nuno Santo’s first-team plans and the way their season has gone, who knows, it could well happen.
Back in 2015, the young striker was named as one of the best twenty prospects to look out for in his age group by The Guardian.
In his early years, he passed through the books of north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, which can typically be a good indicator of how talented a player actually is as both youth setups are up there with the best in England.
If Ashley-Seal can continue to impress and build on this, then he could become a serious option amongst their ranks. Not only that, but he could help Fosun’s ambitions ring true.