West Bromwich Albion’s Rakeem Harper is next in a long list of young talents destined for greatness according to manager Darren Moore, but would it be wise to move to a “bigger” side at this point in his career?
West Brom are reportedly keen on renewing the 18-year-old contract which is due to expire this summer, and it is understood that talks are going positively with the player keen on continuing his development at the club (via Daily Mail).
However, it may worry some fans to learn that the two parties are yet to come to a formal agreement, and with Premier League clubs interested anything is possible.
Indeed, having made his top-flight debut at the tender age of 17, it is clear to see why the Baggies hold him in such high esteem and equally obvious why he is attracting a lot of attention from other teams.
Darren Moore reaffirmed his belief that he could be become a ‘top player’, adding: ‘This is the club to keep him right, we know his strengths and where he needs to improve, and he is improving. We want to see him stay here, we’ve agreed that we want him to stay, his advisers agree that he should stay, it’s just a matter of getting it sorted now.’ (via Daily Mail).
Moore is not wrong: too many times have we seen the development of young players stunted by a single rash decision to move to a bigger side before they are ready.
Harper is no different. He must continue the initial part of his career in a familiar place; where his qualities are known, appreciated and nurtured.
Encouragingly, it is rapidly becoming the norm for young players to either stay where they are or move abroad, like Jadon Sancho, to competitions such as the Bundesliga in search of greater and more viable opportunities.
Unless he is given the same guarantees he has at West Brom, there is no obvious reason why he should leave.