West Bromwich Albion are not the most renowned side for producing fine home-grown talent, but have been solid in their ability to churn out players who have gone on to impress in the English top-flight.
Chris Wood, Saido Berahino, Tyler Roberts and more are just some of the talents that have sprung up from their academy and were are similarly sturdy and reliable players.
Another who fits this mould and could be ready for a spot in the first team is Josh Shaw.
The 18-year-old left-back is yet to make any senior appearances but has made the step up from under-18s football with ease.
Having scored twice and assisted once in 25 games in the U18 Premier League, 12 further appearances in the Premier League 2 are indicative of someone who is not afraid to match up to the physical demands that older age groups might demand.
Conor Townsend is 29, so when his inevitable decline starts, given the intensity such a role requires, Shaw will be waiting patiently in the wings ready to take his place.
With Taylor Garder-Hickman and Dara O’Shea acting as a prime examples of the pathway from youth football into the starting side, Shaw will feel confident he can be the next to make the step up.
His U18s boss Peter Gilbert had the following to say about his potential:
“Josh has improved, keeps getting better and it’s been an upward curve in his career since moving to West Brom”
Not only this, but his versatility makes him a further asset to the side he hopes to break into. With an ability to play left wing, he is clearly a forward-thinking full-back.
He could certainly improve a West Brom side that has scored just 14 in nine games this season, with five of them coming in one game.
They are in desperate need of some freshness in their side, and Steve Bruce must consider unleashing this teenage sensation to propel them away from their current 20th position.