West Brom are no strangers to seeing their most exciting young talents snatched away before they have even made an impact in the Baggies first-team.
Izzy Brown, Nathan Ferguson and Tyler Roberts left for Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leeds United respectively after mustering just 23 first-team appearances between them.
And as Kemar Roofe skipped away from three challenges before launching a 55-yard rocket into Standard Liege’s net during Rangers’ latest Europa League triumph, West Brom fans would have been forgiven for wondering what the Walsall-born forward could have achieved if he hadn’t been farmed out Oxford United in 2015.
Roofe failed to make the grade at West Brom.
But his rapid rise, via goal-laden spells at Leeds and Anderlecht, makes him the perfect example for another young forward who wasn’t given much of an opportunity at the Midland giants.
Jacob Wakeling joined seventh-tier outfit Alvenchurch in July when his contract at West Brom expired but, just three months later, the 19-year-old could be set for to fly back up the footballing ladder.
Wakeling is on trial at West Brom’s Premier League rivals Leicester City (Mercury).
And, hitting a brace in the recent 4-0 thumping of Brighton and Hove Albion’s U23 side, it’s fair to say the teenage striker has made a good first impression in blue.
The last centre-forward to swap Alvenchurch for Leicester ended up scribing his name into Foxes folklore. Alan Smith, between 1982 and 1987, scored 84 goals in 214 games before firing Arsenal to First Division glory and taking up a permanent residency in the Sky Sports’ commentary box.
Talk about a good omen.
If Wakeling can emulate ‘Smudge’s’ impact at Leicester, West Brom will be kicking themselves again.