Akeel has developed into an exciting attacking outlet for the Baggies.
Having first signed at the end of U13s, Higgins has excelled through the ranks in B71 - which showed again during the 2023/24 season when he featured among the substitutes for head coach Carlos Corberán before making his debut in 2024.
Akeel was first named on the bench for the Baggies' home game v Plymouth in October 2023, with more involvements against QPR, Sunderland and Swansea. But a long-awaited moment for Higgins and his family came in the Emirates FA Cup when the confident attacker made his senior bow as a second-half substitute against Aldershot Town in January 2024.
Higgins found his feet during his first year as a scholar and ended the campaign with several goal involvements in the Under-18s, as he showed his influence in several positions across the midfield and attacking three.
The small but sly attacker primarily operates on the flanks, but has proven himself in behind the forward in the No.10 role. Akeel is aggressive on the front foot, plays with energy and shows good feet in tight situations in the final third.
This has seen him net in the U18 Premier League, PL2, Premier League and Birmingham Senior Cup matches for Richard Beale's U21s in recent years.
The second year of his scholarship saw the majority of Akeel's goal contributions come in the PL2 team, recording double-figures across four competitions (six goals, five assists) - in addition to three strikes in the U18s.