DARREN Moore says Kane Wilson can have a big future at the Baggies if he realises his potential.
The 18-year-old extended his Hawthorns stay yesterday, committing his future to Albion until 2020. But his priority for the current campaign remains to help loan-club Exeter City secure promotion to SkyBet League One.
Kane has made 16 appearances for the Grecians who sit just four points off the automatic promotion places in League Two. And Lead Development Phase Coach Darren Moore has tipped the young starlet for big things after his St James Park education.
"We're delighted that Kane's signed the new deal," he said. "He's one of our young, up-and-coming, promising players at the football club.
"He's got wonderful athleticism, wonderful speed, agility. He's got a lot of power. But he's also a nice footballer, he uses the ball very well. There are areas of his game that still need developing. But for a player of 18 years of age he's got lots of potential.
"He's learnt by moving away from academy football. He's seen what a real dressing room is like and played against experienced professionals. Some of these lads have got 200, 300 professional games under their belt and he's put his wits against them.
"He's benefitted from that and he's had a steady run in the team. His positional sense is better and his game understanding is better. We've had some wonderful reports back from Paul Tisdale and the Exeter staff."
The condundrum for Kane is whether his development would be better served by further loan moves in the 2018/19 campaign, or whether he should stay to fight for his place at The Hawthorns.
'Mooro' says he'll know the appropriate course of action after the summer break. But he certainly thinks Kane could be in the mix for a first-team berth at the Baggies next season.
"We see Kane playing for our first team if his potential is realised. At the moment he's definitely on the right track. I think we'll have a look at him when he comes back after the summer break to gauge where he's at.
"You're talking another five months from now so there's still time for him to improve further. When you come back after that off-season break you're refreshed, you've had time to reflect on the season and you've grown. He's made huge strides over the last year. His next steps could be taken with us."