Why Leeds United should look at Rayhaan Tulloch as a long-term prospect
The 18-year-old striker, who has scored 3 goals in his last 4 games for West Brom’s U23 side, has attracted interest from Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Southampton.
Championship promotion rivals Leeds United are also keeping close tabs on the teenager’s progress at the Hawthorns but the Whites are expected to face stiff competition from fellow second-tier clubs Wigan Athletic and Stoke City (h/t Daily Mail).
A loan move might make more sense for West Brom, as well as Tulloch, with League One high-flyers Sunderland identifying the talented youngster as a loan target ahead of the January window (h/t Daily Mail).
Born in Birmingham, Rayhaan Tulloch has been at West Brom since the age of nine and was first introduced to the club’s first-team ranks by former Baggies boss Alan Pardew as a 16-year-old.
Tulloch burst on to the scene at the U18 level during the 2016-17 season while also making the step up to the U23s in the same campaign.
Impressive returns of 12 goals and 4 assists in 11 U18 Premier League appearances during the following season earned him a more substantial role in the Premier League 2 Division 2 and the teenager hasn’t looked back since then.
The 18-year-old has established himself as a key cog in Deon Burton’s U23 side in the Premier League 2 Division 2 this term, accumulating 4 goals and 2 assists in just 9 appearances.
The homegrown starlet made his senior professional bow for West Brom in an EFL Cup against Brighton earlier in the year in January before following it up with an FA Cup debut against the same opposition in February.
To put things into perspective, Rayhaan Tulloch is still a work in progress but his talent and potential have been there for everybody to see. Leeds United would bag a real coup for the future if they manage to beat off competition from their rivals to sign the talented attacker.
Tulloch, who is capable of playing out wide on either flank and also through the centre as a supporting striker, has already made his mark for England at U16, U17 and U18 levels.
The Birmingham-born starlet is not quite in Slaven Bilic’s first-team reckoning at the moment due to stiff competition for places in the senior ranks.
The West Yorkshire giants already have young strikers like Ryan Edmondson and Ken Temenuzhkov coming through the youth ranks and Rayhaan Tulloch could be an exciting addition to the existing pool of up and coming players at Elland Road.
That he is beginning to rub shoulders and excel at the U23 level, despite being only 18, is indicative of a level of maturity that belies his tender years.
Tulloch is quite clearly ahead of his development schedule at the moment and a loan spell should be the next big step in his learning curve.
With that in mind, the ideal stance for Leeds United would be to arrange a loan move in January.
Bringing in an immediate game-changer up top in January might no longer be a priority for the Whites, given that Arsenal have confirmed that they will not recall Eddie Nketiah from his loan spell midway through the campaign (h/t Sun).
Hence, the door is pretty much open for Leeds to scour the market for emerging prospects and their interest in Rayhaan Tulloch certainly makes a lot of sense.
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Having said that, Leeds United raiding West Brom for one of their academy starlets could be a move that pays rich dividends for the Whites moving forward.