Steve Bruce says he’s been hugely impressed by the progress Taylor Gardner-Hickman has made during the short time he has worked with him.
The 20-year-old academy graduate, who penned a long-term contract in December, has started the last four matches for Albion in a central midfield role alongside skipper Jake Livermore and Alex Mowatt.
Gardner-Hickman received his first call-up to the England U20 squad earlier this month as a result of his eye-catching displays and is currently away with the Young Lions on international duty.
Bruce was full of praise for the way the youngster has performed in recent weeks and has challenged Taylor to keep improving.
The boss said: “I’m delighted for Taylor that he’s been selected for England. I’m also delighted for the club and the academy.
“It’s gives all of the staff at the academy who have put a lot of hard work into the kid that little bit of satisfaction.
“To get an England call at the age of 20 – he must be thinking the world is a great place.
“There’s nothing better as a manager than picking a young player who will give you energy, appetite and desire. That’s something all the supporters appreciate.
“The thing about Taylor is that he’s had to handle the situation this season. It’s not easy to come into a team which is a little bit short of confidence. It’s much easier putting a young lad in when the team is playing well.
“He’s had a wonderful start with me. He’s got to keep his feet on the ground which I’m sure he will, and I’ll help keep his feet on the ground too.
“We’re delighted with his progress, but we're pushing him to get better and better.”