With West Brom’s first team not in action until later this month due to the current international break, it seems like a good time to focus on what’s going on in the youth ranks at the Midlands club.
One player that has been in cracking goalscoring form for the U18 side as well as the U23 side on occasion this season is 17-year-old striker Reyes Cleary.
In five league appearances for the U18s, Cleary has scored eight goals and has chipped in with three goals in six league appearances for the U23s, showing how comfortable he is in front of goal at both levels.
Unsurprisingly, possibly as a result of his incredible goalscoring efforts this season, it has recently been reported by the Daily Mail that Bayern Munich are interested in signing the youngster after sending scouts to watch him play in recent weeks.
Given how impressive Cleary, who has been described as a “powerful forward player with an eye for goal” by U18 manager Peter Gilbert, has been for the youth teams this season, it should be a big priority for the club to secure his future at The Hawthorns and keep him out of the German club’s clutches so he can continue to progress and develop his game there and potentially force his way into the first team.
This would also stop the club from having another situation like they previously had with former Baggies youth prodigy Louie Barry who left West Brom for a move abroad to Barcelona back in July 2019 before eventually ending up at Aston Villa just a few months later in the 2020 January transfer window.
Moving forward, Albion chairman Li Piyue should now be trying his best to keep hold Cleary for the foreseeable future and the best way they could persuade him to stay would be to outline how he can make it into the first team in the near future and give him the chance to do so when they feel he’s ready, which may not be that far away given how well he’s done this season.