West Brom may well be sitting on their striker of the future right now.
Young academy product Callum Morton broke onto the scene during a prolific loan spell at League Two outfit Northampton Town last season, and whilst his current temporary stint away from the Hawthorns is currently blighted by injury, he’s certainly got the potential to become a star.
The 20-year-old is a player who has modelled his game on the likes of Jamie Vardy and ex-Albion star Shane Long, though it is another former club legend that he bears the most similarities to – Kevin Phillips.
Phillips bagged a whopping 46 goals in 81 appearances for the Baggies and played a huge part towards Vardy’s success down the road at their Midlands rivals. The Foxes’ official website noted him as a coach and ‘striker mentor’ in 2015, so it’s no surprise that they are quite the same in playing style.
And if Morton is looking up to the Englishman, then it only bodes well for West Brom in the long run.
In his first month at the Cobblers, he notched five goals in seven appearances to claim the division’s ‘Player of the Month’ award. Throughout the campaign, his performances and goals were enough to help them into the playoffs where he scored a brace to fire them into the final at Wembley.
He took that in his grasp too, scoring one of their four goals on their way to promotion.
In League Two that season, Morton had the best conversion rate of any striker in the division, scoring eight goals from 24 shots (33%) whilst he scored 83% of his efforts that were on target, which also led the league, as per FBRef (via Scouted Football).
These are mightily impressive returns that Phillips would’ve been proud of.
In the summer, former Albion boss Slaven Bilic waxed lyrical about the young striker after holding contract talks. He told the Express & Star:
“I spoke with him a lot of times, he wasn’t training with the group, but I had a lot of chats with him. I didn’t know him as a player but to see that character – he has got something special. He is made of steel.”
Indeed, Morton is now under contract at the Hawthorns for another three and a half years, so there is plenty of time for him to make his mark at the club – perhaps if the Baggies do go down, the door could then open for him.
But first, he’ll have to get back on track following a serious shoulder injury in September with League One front-runners Lincoln City.
If he keeps up his goalscoring form, then he has every chance to become Albion’s next Phillips.
AND in other news, Foolish Dowling missed a £2m bargain in “fearless” PL gem…