West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael has revealed summer recruit Quevin Castro ‘needs to learnt a lot’ if he is to be a key part of the Baggies’ plans going forward, speaking to the press after the 20-year-old’s return to training.
The midfielder was tied down to a two-year deal at The Hawthorns last month after impressing on trial, having previously trained at Arsenal and Chelsea and failing to earn a contract at either Premier League club.
Despite only just joining the Baggies after playing non-league football a couple of years ago, Castro has ambitions of becoming one of the best players in world football and said his move to the Championship side is a mere ‘stepping stone’ to greater things.
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However, the Portuguese midfielder is yet to make a senior appearance for the West Midlands side after dislocating his shoulder a few weeks ago, although his recent return to training is an encouraging signing for manager Ismael.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s crunch tie against Sheffield United, Ismael spoke about the 20-year-old and said: “Quevin has a lot of quality. He has a lot of principle, aggression for the six position, he’s on the front foot.
“Technically he is very good, he’s a young player who needs to learn a lot but he plays a part in our process.
“He needs to learn, but in that position he’s got great players in front of him to learn from.
“Jake (Livermore), our skip, with Alex Mowatt, he can learn a lot.
“It’s just a question of time with him, when we will see him.
“I want to see him as well in the games, so at some point he’ll have to play to make sure that our feeling with him is the right feeling.”
However, Ismael did admit he had been impressed by what he’s seen of the advanced midfielder in training, even though the likes of Alex Mowatt and Jake Livermore look set to keep him out of the starting lineup, with Trevor Chalobah and Okay Yokuslu also being linked with moves to The Hawthorns this summer.
The 45-year-old went on to add: “He’s impressed, he’s very young. I was really surprised when he told me his age.
“But it’s not about age. It’s about whether you’re able to play like we want, to put the principles on the pitch.
“We want to see that, and if so then it doesn’t matter whether you are 18, 19, 30, 33, you’ll play.
“That was the message from me and my staff from the guys – it was all about the focus on us, on our philosophy and principles.
“We need players who are ready to go with us. Quevin is part of the process.”
Considering Romaine Sawyers could potentially be on his way to Stoke City or another club before the end of the transfer window, it could potentially open up a spot for Castro to make an impression.
And watching him perform regularly in the Championship has become more of a realistic prospect after seeing the Baggies miss out on Trevoh Chalobah, who looks set to be a part of Thomas Tuchel’s first-team plans at Chelsea after scoring at the weekend.
Okay Yokuslu also stated his desire to return to the Premier League in the summer and after the club’s relegation to the second tier, re-signing the Turkish midfielder looks like more of an improbability than a possibility at this stage.
But after his comments about the second-tier outfit being a ‘stepping stone’, he needs to get his head down and work hard if wants to back up his words with performances on the pitch.
Valerien Ismael is right to temper everyone’s expectations on the 20-year-old and slowly ease him into the first team though, because rushing him could be detrimental to West Brom’s chances of promotion and to the player himself.