West Bromwich Albion ended a disappointing season on a high with victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the PL Cup. The Young Baggies drew 2-2 in extra time but won 5-4 on penalties.
Steve Madeley of The Athletic was asked if there were any prospects that stood a chance of breaking into Albion’s first-team next season, but he believes it’s more likely some of the promising talents will be loaned out instead.
He said: “Sad to say, I’m hard-pushed to see any of them playing a big role next season. Zac Ashworth did very well, but perhaps a loan would be best at this stage of development. Regular starts in League One or League Two is a better education than a few minutes here and there in the Championship.”
Ashworth rose from the youth ranks to West Brom’s first-team this season, making 28 appearances for the U18s, 21 appearances for the U23s and three appearances at senior level.
The 19-year-old featured twice in the Championship at the end of the campaign but is likely to be behind Conor Townsend in the left-back pecking order next season. He’s also likely to be behind Dara O’Shea, Kyle Bartley and Semi Ajayi in the centre-back pecking order, so a loan move might benefit all parties.
Ashworth can get regular playing time at his level, hopefully returning to West Brom in a position to compete for a starting place. Sitting on the bench all season does very little for a player’s development.