Why West Brom have struck gold with a new deal for Jamie Soule
According to the Express & Star, West Brom have secured the long-term future of academy wonderkid Jamie Soule with a brand new deal, with the teenager putting pen to paper on a three-year contract at the Hawthorns.
The 18-year-old, who has been a part of the Baggies’ youth setup ever since joining as an 8-year-old kid, has committed his future to his boyhood club, thus pouring cold water on the speculations linking him with a move to Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund. (h/t Express & Star)
Jamie Soule is yet to make his senior professional bow for West Brom but the teenage striker’s prolific form in front of goal at the youth level hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Dortmund being amongst those to have expressed an interest in his services.
However, West Brom have moved quickly to secure the future of one of their brightest academy prospects after losing highly-rated homegrown duo Morgan Rogers and Louie Barry to Man City and Barcelona respectively in the summer.
The Baggies were left red-faced when they let such highly-rated emerging talents slip out of their hands without either of them making a first-team appearance but they have done everything to ensure that Soule stays put at the Hawthorns.
The teenager has already carved out a reputation for himself as a prolific marksman at the U-18 and U-23 levels for West Brom and a first-team breakthrough shouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility if he continues to impress with his rich vein of form, particularly with Slaven Bilic now at the helm of affairs.
Having burst on to the scene in the U-18 Premier League during the 2016-17 campaign, Soule excelled with 8 goals and 5 assists in 18 appearances in the following season and also progressed through to the U-23s in the Premier League 2 Division 2.
The teenager hasn’t looked back since then and has enhanced his reputation as a bonafide goalscorer at all youth levels over the past couple of seasons.
As a matter of fact, he has been in tremendous form for the U-23s this term, registering 4 goals and 3 assists in 6 appearances and, to that end, the club’s decision to offer him fresh terms doesn’t come as a surprise.
To put things into perspective, academy graduates like Nathan Ferguson and Kyle Edwards have gained a lot of importance under Slaven Bilic in the first-team and Jamie Soule certainly has the talent and the potential to stake a claim for a senior call-up in the near future.
That he made the transition to the U-23 level at the tender age of 17 is indicative of a level of maturity that belies his tender years as a footballer. Also, he has caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund, which means that he has definitely proven a lot over the course of his formative years in the club’s academy.
With new signings Charlie Austin and Kenneth Zohore competing for the starting role up top every week and Hal Robson-Kanu more than a handy back-up in the ranks, Jamie Soule is likely to find it hard to break into Bilic’s plans.
However, the pathway to the first-team is open, as evident from the rise of Ferguson, and given his potential, one would expect the 18-year-old to make his senior bow somewhere down the line in the near future.
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Soule seems to have a big future ahead of him and it is easy to see that the Baggies have struck gold with a new three-year contract for one of their best academy players.
All in all, this is a stance that underpins the club’s renewed faith in their homegrown players and one that might go on to pay rich dividends in the years to come.