Former West Brom star Gary Thompson says Chris Wood isn't ready for the Premiership.
Thompson, now an agent, has praised the teenage Kiwi for his World Cup campaign.
"It might be too early next season for the Prem. It might be one of those where he comes off the bench and develops slowly. They couldn't just throw him in now - it could kill the lad," Thompson told the Birmingham Mail.
"But at 18 to play in a World Cup, it's frightening.
"Norman Whiteside and Pele played it at a very young age. This kid has been thrown in and not looked out of place - when he's come on he has had a go and that can only be great for the Albion. Whoever scouted him - top marks!"
Thompson is now a successful football agent and added: "He's got a great size about him and they definitely think he's going to be one for the future."
"But going into the Premier League - you can't make any mistakes if you're going to develop and I don't think Albion will have time to allow him to develop.