West Bromwich Albion midfielder Tim Iroegbunam has completed a move away from The Hawthorns.
That’s according to a report by the Express & Star, who claim that the 18-year-old has rejected the offer of a generous professional contract at West Brom in favour of a move to Aston Villa.
The report goes on to mention that the central midfielder has been with the Baggies since the age of eight, also relaying the highly-rated youngster’s farewell message to Albion fans, which read: “I would like to say thank you to everyone at West Bromwich Albion who’ve helped me on my development as a footballer.
“You have all given me good times and memories I will cherish forever. Now my time has come to an end and I am looking forward to the next chapter. I wish the best to all my teammates and the coaches I’ve been with. It’s been an amazing 10 years.”
The Express & Star also cited the comments of Aston Villa academy boss Mark Harrison reflecting on the signing of Iroegbunam.
He said: “Tim is an athletic midfielder who is technically very good. He has the ability to play as a holding midfielder or a box-to-box midfielder, who can contribute in both penalty areas. Tim has a lot of potential and we look forward to seeing him develop over the next few years.”
Considering just how much raw talent Iroegbunam appears to have, the 18-year-old’s departure from West Brom before even having the chance to make an appearance for the first team is sure to have left fans of the club fuming, particularly as he has gone to a Midlands rival in Aston Villa.
Last season, the 5 foot 8 midfielder was named as the club’s Marc Darcy Academy Player of the Season, having scored four goals and provided four assists over 28 appearances in the Under-18 Premier League, Premier League 2, FA Youth Cup and EFL Trophy.
The youngster impressed so much that Sam Allardyce opted to include him in his first team squad on the final day of the Premier League season, although Iroegbunam failed to make it onto the pitch in Albion’s 3-1 defeat to Leeds United.
However, following his switch to Villa, this occasion was the first and last time that West Brom fans will see the 18-year-old in and around the Baggies’ starting XI, something which will undoubtedly be hugely disappointing considering that the Championship club have nurtured Iroegbunam into the player he is today over the course of the last decade.