Why West Brom should look at Saul Shotton as one for the future
According to the Express & Star, West Brom are on the verge of completing a move for youngster Saul Shotton, with the report claiming that the 18-year-old centre-back is closing in on a two-year deal at the Hawthorns.
Shotton is currently a free agent after leaving Bury last month following the club’s expulsion from League One due to a financial crisis and the Baggies are prepared to offer the young defender a new lease of life to further his development.
The Stoke-born youngster rose through the youth ranks at Stoke City before moving on to Bury back in 2017.
The teenager made his bow in senior football for the Grigg Lane outfit in the 2017-18 season in the third-tier of English football and registered a total of 6 appearances in all competitions in his debut campaign
Shotton didn’t feature in Bury’s first-team over the entirety of the previous campaign but he was a regular for the club’s U-18 side and played in the FA Youth Cup.
The 18-year-old, who is regarded as a bright emerging prospect with potential, currently finds his future up in the air but that is likely to change soon if he manages to earn a fresh deal at West Brom.
Given that he has only played a handful of games for Bury’s first-team, not a lot is known about the youngster but West Brom are apparently looking at him as one for the future.
Shotton has earned rave reviews for his performances at the youth level and the Baggies seemingly believe that he has all that it takes to carve out a name for himself at the highest level in the years to come.
To put things into perspective, Saul Shotton is still very much in his formative years as a footballer and the Baggies should not mind offering him a chance to hone his skills at the club.
They are definitely not looking at him as someone who could come in and challenge for a role in Slaven Bilic’s first-team but West Brom could have a gem on their hands in the future if the teenager goes on to fulfil his potential.
In all probability, Shotton would initially link up with the club’s U-18 side and then it will be up to him to gradually climb up the ladder to the U-23 development side and ultimately all the way to the senior ranks.
The process of transition from the academy ranks to senior football is quite a lengthy process but, with homegrown youngsters like Nathan Ferguson and Kyle Edwards thriving under Bilic, Shotton might find himself fast-tracked into the first-team squad if he manages to impress the youth coaches with his development and commitment on the training ground.
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All in all, the 18-year-old is still very much a work in progress and West Brom offering him a much-needed escape route could go on to pay rich dividends in the years to come.