Aston Villa have reached an agreement with West Brom to secure the potential arrival of young talent Finn Azaz as they close in on another Baggies prospect, according to Football Insider.
Villa have already previously secured the signing of former West Brom academy starlet Louie Barry, although he came from Barcelona, and the Premier League side have also agreed a deal to sign Tim Iroegbunam for a six-figure transfer sum.
Azaz spent time out on loan last season in League Two and was a vital part in Cheltenham Town’s successful bid to earn promotion to the third tier of English football.
In total, the midfielder managed to make 37 league appearances for Michael Duff’s side and he scored one goal and also provided two assists during those matches.
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According to the latest report from Football Insider, Aston Villa have now reached an agreement with the Baggies over a deal that would see Azaz head to Villa Park. As a result, it is believed that a deal will be sorted out soon and his departure from the Hawthorns will be confirmed soon.
This trend of Aston Villa picking off West Brom’s brightest academy talents is starting to get really concerning for the Baggies. There have not been many players to have emerged through the club’s academy in recent years and make a major impact on the first-team and only this summer the likes of Sam Field, Rekeem Harper and Kyle Edwards have moved on.
Azaz would not have been expected to play a major role for the Baggies next term and still needs more game time out on loan at a lower level you would imagine. However, he showed during his spell at Cheltenham Town last term that he is someone with real potential and losing him to Villa is a blow for in the long-term.
Valerien Ismael is someone that likes to work with and develop young talents and this is a situation that he will be keen to make sure does not happen again. The Baggies have to start thinking more about the long-term future and try and do more to retain some of their brightest academy players.