West Bromwich Albion boss Valerien Ismael has outlined to the Express & Star that he is determined to prevent the club from losing anymore of their best young players to other clubs.
Over the past few years Albion have seen a lot of their most talented young prospects depart for moves elsewhere, with some players even moving to their local rivals, Aston Villa.
The challenge now for the Baggies is to change that trend in order to help develop a first team squad which is made up of their own homegrown talent alongside players that they bring in by other means.
Speaking recently on the subject, Ismael was seemingly bullish in his approach to going about addressing the problem:
“We need to create an identity for the fans and to keep our young players here in the club.
“The first thing I heard when I came here is that the good players go away to Aston Villa and Crystal Palace and we need to stop this.
“It’s my job to give the chance to young players but not just in the 85th or 90th minute when we are 5-0 up but in a real situation.”
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The likes of Morgan Rodgers and Nathan Ferguson have been lost to Manchester City and Palace in more recent years, whilst several players have made the cross Midlands move to link up with Villa.
Ismael most recently handed Taylor Gardner-Hickman his league debut in the win over Hull City earlier this week.
This is a problem that has been going on at West Brom for far too long and it is clear that Ismael really wants to put a stop to it once and for all.
Keeping young players happy and motivated is one thing but giving them a path to the first team is even harder for clubs lower down the pyramid.
As a result of this, a lot of youngsters end up leaving for Premier League sides in the hope that it will help them to progress quicker, however this isn’t always the case.
The reality is that the Baggies are more than capable of creating a good pathway of their own, with Ismael seemingly being determined to show that these youngsters can buy into his methods and flourish at the top level.