Jonathan Leko looks set for more game time with West Brom this season after he was withdrawn from England’s Under-17s Euros squad.
The 17-year-old forward was thrust into the starting line-up for his full debut in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat against West Ham at the Hawthorns and, despite the result, he won some glowing praise from boss Tony Pulis.
It meant Leko as the first player born in 1999 to play in the Premier League and afterwards Pulis said: “Jonathan did fantastic. The kid had raw talent. He just needs games at this level to develop.”
And it appears he will stay involved with the first-team squad for the Baggies’ final two games at Bournemouth and against Liverpool at home after the club pulled him out of the Under-17s squad which will fly out to Azerbaijan for the European Championship finals this week.
AlbionÂ’s Director of Football Administration Richard Garlick told the Albion website: “We feel the experience Jonathan will gain from his involvement will be of even greater benefit to his development Â– and that is the key element for us.
“Naturally, Dan [Ashworth, the FA’s director of elite development] would have wanted Jonathan to be involved in Azerbaijan but the opportunity to give young English players experience at this level of Club football is something the FA also strongly supports.”