West Brom fans will know exactly what Bristol City assistant coach Jamie McAlliser means when he says loanee Jonathan Leko has ‘something different’.
Leko, who made his Premier League debut at the age of 16, showed in glimpses exactly why West Brom rate him so highly and why he could even eclipse Izzy Brown and Saido Berahino as the most exciting Baggies academy graduate of the last decade.
“He just brings something different to the team,” McAllister said after the game in quotes reported by the Birmingham Mail. “He’s a real threat in the final third and he causes their defenders real problems - they couldn’t deal with him in certain situations, especially in the box.
“He’s strong, he’s got great feet. Chopping one way and going the other.”
West Brom manager Tony Pulis made it clear that he wanted Leko to spend a few months away from The Hawthorns in order to give the skilful winger the chance to build up his experience of regular first-team football.
And Leko, who is blessed with extraordinary ability and a street footballer’s sense of showmanship, is likely to get plenty of bums off seats at Ashton Gate.
Like Rakeem Harper and Tyler Roberts, who are also spending time on loan at Blackburn Rovers and Walsall respectively, Leko has an excellent opportunity to prove to Pulis that he is ready to fight for a place in West Brom’s first-team.
The fact that he has ‘something different’ should always stand him in good stead.