West Brom have a rather talented academy system having earned elite category one status nearly a decade ago.
Over the years, plenty of names have made their senior debuts, namely Nathan Ferguson, Kyle Edwards, Rekeem Harper and Dara O’Shea in recent seasons.
Soon another emerging Baggies hopeful could join the long list of players to make it from the youth set-up to the senior fold – Finn Azaz.
The 20-year-old midfield starlet has continued to impress during a loan spell at League Two outfit Cheltenham Town this season and he’s starting to develop as a potential long-term heir in a key position.
At 6 foot 1 inches in stature, the young gem doesn’t appear to be the most mobile option in the engine room. However, that’s far from the case as he not only displayed a creative side this term but shown an ability to dazzle with the ball at his feet.
Indeed, according to GloucesterLive journalist Jonathan Palmer, Azaz has been operating as a ‘no.10’ for the high-flying Robins.
Speaking to the Express & Star, he said:
“Finn Azaz is operating in a ‘number 10’ role supporting two centre forwards and has excelled so far,” before adding: “He has plenty of tricks and flicks in his locker but has already shown progress regarding when to try things and when to keep it simple. His ability has shone through since pre-season and he looks a real talent based on his early competitive appearances.”
Of those to make 16 or more appearances, the Albion loanee ranks among the best for chances created as he’s provided 1.1 key passes per 90, whilst he’s not afraid of having a pop at goal either, averaging 1.7 shots per 90, via WhoScored.
Given the dubious future of West Brom right now, both financially and in terms of player turnover, Azaz could become a ready-made option, especially if the Midlands side are relegated straight back to the Championship.
Matheus Pereira has been above and beyond their best player this term, averaging the second-highest WhoScored rating in the team. He’s both their top goalscorer and top provider, and has delivered more shots and key passes than any other Baggies star too.
Which only emphasises why Azaz could be his heir at some point later down the line, given his ability to create and left fly with an effort or two.
The Hawthorns prodigy could be the next big thing to make it at the Baggies.
AND in other news, West Brom dodged a massive £14m bullet with failed January swoop…