Joseph Masi has dropped an exciting behind the scenes West Bromwich Albion claim.
In a recent post on Twitter, the Express & Star journalist revealed that Reyes Cleary has been training with the Baggies first team this week, as well as revealing that Valerien Ismael has been impressed with the performances of the 17-year-old centre-forward.
In his tweet, Masi said: “Reyes Cleary is training with Albion’s first-team and doing well according to Valerien Ismael. But the boss says the striker still needs to adapt to the intensity of senior football.”
Considering just how impressive Reyes Cleary has been for Albion’s youth sides this season, in addition to the fact that Ismael’s first team side are clearly lacking an out and out goalscorer, the news that the teenager is training with the senior side is sure to have left fans of the club buzzing.
Indeed, over his six appearances in the U18 Premier League, the youngster has bagged a whopping ten goals and provided one assist, while, over his nine Premier League 2 appearances after taking the step up to the club’s U23 side, the 17-year-old has scored a further seven goals.
And, when taking into account the £36k-per-week Norwich City loanee Jordan Hugill has scored one goal, provided no assists and created no big chances over his 18 Championship appearances so far this season – returns which have seen the 29-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.53, ranking him as Albion’s fourth-worst player in the league – it is clear the forward is not of the standard required for the Frenchman’s side.
As such, should Ismael be planning to send Hugill back to the Premier League side this January, something it has been reported may well be the case, it would appear the 46-year-old has nothing to lose in unleashing the teenager – something which could well prove to be something of a masterstroke by the Baggies boss.