On 4 May 2013, 16-year-old Isaiah Brown made his senior debut for West Bromwich Albion, becoming the second-youngster player in Premier League history. And while the Baggies would ultimately lose 3-2 at home to Wigan Athletic their fans saw a brief glimpse of a young forward tipped for the very top.
Speaking prior to Brown’s first appearance, his manager Steve Clarke praised his performances in training, and said he had every intention of involving him as much as possible – even if that involvement was merely a watching brief.
“Don’t forget he’s not even 16-and-a-half yet,” Clarke told the Birmingham Mail in April. “He’s a very young 16, and is just out of nappies to be honest. But it’s good to keep him involved.”
How involved he would have been this season is a question never to be answered, as last summer he made his “dream” move to Chelsea, much to the annoyance of Clarke’s side.
A player tipped as a future England international was suddenly on his way to London, and after months of discussions, it appears the two clubs are no closer to agreeing a fee.
In fact when the Express first reported the news of Brown’s move back in July, they claimed Chelsea may have to pay up to £2million for the gifted teenager. So it is no surprise the Baggies are standing firm.
In an extensive report from Goal, it is claimed that if there is no change of stance from either club a teenage footballer’s value will be decided by an independent panel for the first time in four years.
If that is the case, will West Brom be left short-changed, or will Chelsea be forced to stump up considerably more than they had hoped?
image: © Jason Bagley