West Brom boss Tony Pulis was happy to give fans what he hopes is a glimpse of the future against Liverpool.
Having handed Jonathan Leko his Barclays Premier League debut last month, fellow teenagers Tyler Roberts, 17, and Sam Field, 18, became the latest academy players to make their first-team bows under Pulis as the campaign came to an end on Sunday.
Leko, making only his third start for the club, brilliantly set up West Brom’s opening goal in the 1-1 draw, weaving by three Liverpool players before slipping a pass down the right-hand side of the penalty area to Salomon Rondon who beat goalkeeper Adam Bogdan at his near post with a low shot.
Roberts, a 73rd-minute replacement for Leko, might have capped his debut with a goal had he shown more of the predatory instincts that brought him to the attention of Pulis.
Following the game, Pulis said: “It was lovely to get the three kids on. Leko has played a big part in the last few games and to get Sam and Tyler on was fantastic.
“It gives everyone in the club a boost, everyone underneath the first-team, in the academy – Mark (Harrison), Hoppy (Stephen Hopcroft) and the lads there, they work really hard.
“They need to know, given the chance, that if the lads are good enough then they will get the opportunity.
“These three lads have to come back after the close season stronger, mentally and physically, and there’s a chance, I’ll give them a chance. I really do think they’re good enough.”