A new era is starting at West Bromwich Albion, with Valerien Ismael installed as the club’s new head coach and director of football Luke Dowling having departed.
There have been reports that Ismael will be allowed to take the lead in the transfers market as he looks to shape his squad for the 2021/22 Championship campaign.
With around six weeks to go until EFL opening weekend, the former Barnsley boss will want to be busy as he looks to add the tools he needs to launch a promotion push.
But he could well look to the youth setup as well and with that in mind, here are two West Brom youngsters we could see breakthrough this season…
Zak Delaney is yet to make his senior debut for Albion but he’s been a regular for the U18s and U23s over the past few seasons and 2021/22 could be when he gets his chance.
The West Midlands club confirmed earlier this month that the 19-year-old left-back has been offered a new contract, highlighting that he’s certainly rated at The Hawthorns.
With Kieran Gibbs departing, the Baggies will need some cover and competition for Conor Townsend on the left side of defence and Delany could be just that.
We’ve seen Ismael put faith in young players at Barnsley, so if he impresses in pre-season the teenager could well force his way into the new head coach’s first team plans.
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Another young West Brom player that has been offered new terms by the club, Finn Azaz impressed while on out loan with Cheltenham Town last season.
The midfielder featured 44 times for the Robins – helping them to win the fourth tier title and make it to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Rekeem Harper is understood to be close to a move to Ipswich Town, which leaves Albion short of options in central midfield with just Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore to choose from.
Neither of those players are getting any younger and Azaz’s youthful exuberance and energy could mean he’s someone that Ismael turns to next season.
Given the high-tempo style that the Tykes played last term, you feel the new Baggies boss will want to ensure he has plenty of depth.