Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Newcastle United: U18 Premier League North
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Wolves prospect Josh Esen earns praise from Under 18s manager

When Wolves’ Under 18 side thumped bitter rivals West Brom 5-0 earlier this month, 16-year-old Josh Esen made his old gold debut, scoring and assisting a goal in the thumping victory.

He has since played in the 2-1 defeat against Everton too and Under 18s boss Steve Davis told the club’s website how impressed he’s been with new-boy Esen.

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“I’ve been really impressed with Josh. He’s done really well since coming in, as a non-academy player having been released by Swansea when he was a young kid,” said Davis.

“He has managed to get himself playing in men’s football and this is another opportunity and another route for him into the professional game.

“We’ve been conscious about how much he plays at the moment and how much he trains because we’re not sure where he is from a fitness perspective and how much load he can handle.

“But he got a goal and as assist against West Brom, he played the full game against Everton, seemed to get through it well, he worked hard and showed good maturity in certain situations.

“He also played a variety of positions at the front, which shows his versatility. It’s still very early in his development, but he’s a fast learner and there’s only more to come from him.

“I was very pleased with his performance on Saturday, especially considering it was a tough game for him.”

Who is Josh Esen?

Teenager Esen joined Wolves’ academy in the summer after spending some time on trial.

He was previously at Welsh team Llanelli Town in Cymru South, the second tier of Welsh football.

As Davis mentioned, Esen spent time on the books at Swansea City but they released him when he was 13.

His talent is shown by the fact he did make one appearance for Llanelli’s senior side, scoring and winning the man of the match award.

Upon joining for Wolves, the club’s website described him as a player ‘who can play wide, or as a central striker’ and he has of course already shown his eye for goal.

It’s early days but Esen looks to be a talented young player who could have a bright future in the game if he keeps working hard and progressing.