West Bromwich Albion youth prospect Rico Richards is set to sign his first professional deal with the club later on today, according to Birmingham Live journalist Joe Chapman.

Rico Richards is a 16-year-old midfielder who plays for West Brom’s Under-18s. The youngster has also been deployed as a left-back, showcasing his versatility, and Albion boss Slaven Bilic is understood to be one of his many admirers.

Chapman mentions in his tweet about (Morgan) Rogers and (Louie) Barry, who were both Albion prospects that were poached by bigger sides — Man City and Barcelona respectively — before they signed a professional contract with the club, meaning that they left for pocket change.

For Richards to commit his future to the Albion is a great coup for the club and is hopefully an indication of how business will be run at that level from now on — ensuring that the Baggies’ best young prospects do not slip through the cracks as many have done in the past.

It’s about time we reap the rewards of our academy and Rico Richards could definitely be a part of the senior squad in a few years if he continues developing at his current pace.

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