Tony Pulis has suddenly become the Premier League’s sugar daddy.
Five months after making Jonathan Leko the first 1999 born player he selected Kane Wilson, date of birth March 11, 2000, on the bench against Crystal Palace on the first day of the new season.
If this continues his reputation for not trusting youth will disappear.
Leko looks an incredible prospect.
Pulis is not renowned for youth development. But at West Brom he is not living up to his reputation – but is his hand being forced?
Is this circumstance or strategy?
The close season has seen West Brom sign just one senior prior to the first match.
Would their famously cranky manager pick a 16 year old just to make a statement to his board about the depth of his squad? Perhaps.
Pulis doesn’t do romance and has built a reputation on crafting hard to beat, sucker punch teams. He is a Premier League success story but has traditionally been slow to turn to youth.
The way he has handled Saido Berahino has been questionable to say the least (Sado-masochistic?) but by including Leko in six games before his eighteenth birthday shows he is not averse to promoting talent.
2016-2017 will surely be the season when the Premier League gets its first ‘00 player. Few would have predicted it would be Pulis who supplied it.
But then not many would have thought he would make Leko the first 1999er.
Pulis is as unpredictable as the Premier League itself.
And Jonathan Leko and Kane Wilson are two of its brightest prospects.
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) August 13, 2016