West Bromwich Albion were delighted with Sam Mantom's progress on-loan at Walsall last season.

The Stourbridge-born star's form was closely monitored by Albion's coaches who are convinced he can make the step up into the Premier League.

"Sam's got a bright future," assistant boss Keith Downing told the Sunday Mercury. "We have always felt we needed to give him time. His physique is getting better and he is a late developer.

"We have shown patience and Sam is a very focused young boy who really does work hard every day.

"I'm very optimistic that Sam will have a very good career and working with top-class players can only help."