West Bromwich Albion Assistant Head Coach Keith Downing has said he is happy and not surprised to hear that the progress on-loan midfielder Sam Mantom has made at The Banks’s Stadium.
Downing told Albion’s official website www.wba.co.uk:
“I think Sam’s got a bright future, but we have always felt we needed to give him time.
“His physical attributes are getting better and better, as he is a late developer in that respect.
“Sam is a very focused young man who really does work hard every day.
“He goes in the gym and has put on some bulk and some power.
“We all know about his technical abilities and what he’s got.
“I’m optimistic that Sam will have a very good career. This is the first part of his development.”
“I’m not sure he’s ready to play six or eight successive Premier League games. That might be a little bit far at the moment.
“But certainly in the next year or two he will be looking to do that.
“At this club, he has been training with the first-team players, not the development group, so he’s not been stuck on another pitch.
“He has been working with top-class players and that can only help.
“The rigours of playing every Saturday and trying to win three points might be the step for next year.
“We will monitor him closely because he’s a good player who will come back to us with a bit more experience, and we will see how he starts next season.”