After the Premier League 2 season was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, youth players on the books at Albion haven’t been getting as much game time as they usually would.
The season was curtailed on May 1st and although Albion were having a prosperous season prior to the pandemic, sitting in third place in Division Two, it is unlikely that the PL2 campaign for next year will run as expected due to the financial implications of the outbreak.
Many cash-strapped teams in the lower divisions will look to sign loan players from teams like Albion in an attempt to keep costs low whilst maintaining an effort to fulfill goals like promotion or survival.
Here is a list of the youth prospects that West Brom might send out on loan this summer:
#12 Nick Clayton-PhillipsEmbed from Getty Images
The Birmingham-born forward was seen celebrating with the Albion fans when the Baggies sealed promotion to the Premier League and although reports have emerged about Bilic promoting him to training sessions with the first team, giving Clayton-Phillips a season in League One or Two may aid his development more.
Solihull Moors loaned Clayton-Phillips prior to the halting of the season and Jimmy Shan’s side could do worse than bringing him back this term.
However, we think the left-winger could do a job for a side in England’s fourth division. The 20-year-old scored four goals in his 13 PL2 appearances in the 2019/20 campaign, so a team like Barrow, who have recently gained promotion to the Football League, may look at Clayton-Phillips as an option on a temporary basis.
#11 Saul Shotton
Former Stoke academy player Saul Shotton arrived at Albion from Bury when The Shakers were expelled from the division in 2019.
Shotton made six appearances for Albion in the PL2 last season and the 19-year-old is expected to have a big future ahead of him. He has already played in League One, featuring in four matches for Bury in the 2017/18 season.
The centre-back may benefit from a loan move to a side near to him like Port Vale in League Two to gain some valuable experience whilst staying in his local area.
#10 Cheikh Diaby
When Diaby signed for the Baggies in October 2019, the young French forward came with a lot of fanfare.
Joining from Le Havre in France, the youth academy which has developed players like Dimitri Payet, Steve Mandanda, Lassana Diarra and, most notably, Paul Pogba, many Albion fans were excited to see what the latest graduate could do.
Cheikh hasn’t reached the heights many anticipated, however, only making a single appearance in the PL2. He also spent lockdown back home in his native France, so perhaps he could do with a loan in Ligue 2 to revitalise his career.