West Brom could turn to youth, says Dave Kemp

West Brom

England’s under-17s striker Jonathan Leko is just one of several teenagers looking to break into the West Bromwich Albion first team.

West Bromwich Albion’s assistant manager Dave Kemp says several Baggies youngsters are on the radar of boss Tony Pulis, hinting they could be given a chance to impress before the end of season.

One player that continues to stake a place in the first team is striker Jonathan Leko, who grabbed a goal and an assist in England under-17s' 3-1 win over Turkey in a European under-17 Championship qualifier on Thursday.

The 16-year-old made his West Brom debut as a late substitute in the Capital One Cup defeat to Norwich earlier in the season, but Kemp says Leko could soon be ready for more first team action.

According to the Birmingham Mail, Kemp also has high hopes for Welsh youngster Tyler Roberts, adding that both players were already in the thoughts of boss Tony Pulis.

"If they earn it they’ve got every chance of being selected but having said that, that applies all season long," said Kemp.

"You have to force your way in with displays and how you play.

“They’ve been on the bench for the first team so obviously they’re inching, but the manager’s got to say I’m going to use him.

"You can do it, you’ve just got to show that you have the nous plus the ability and the attitude.

"It’s not a given just because you’re young and talented, that doesn’t do it."

But he insists the duo are not the only young players looking to become part of the first team set up at the Hawthorns.

"I don’t want to big someone up and then the others say he didn’t mention me!" he added.

"The opportunity is there for everyone. We’ve got quite a number out on loan, some playing non-league football, some playing in the league.

"That’s all good stuff, that’s a good way to prepare them, to try and make progress."

West Brom are currently sitting in 11th in the Premier League, 13 points off the relegation zone, meaning there is little pressure on the side as they enter their last eight games of the season.

But Kemp insists that any youngster that does manage to break into the team will still be expected to perform at a certain level.

He said: "Brian Kidd played for Man United in the 1968 FA Cup final at 18. He played in the European Cup Final on his 19th birthday.

"He said to me ‘I got in the Man United team when I was 18, but I didn’t get treated like a kid, you’re in the team, you’ve got to justify your selection. He didn’t get soft-shoed round, you have to earn it, be as good or better than everyone else with no allowances."

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