Albion are weighing up loan options for their in-demand under-23s.

But development boss Simon Rusk has highlighted the value of keeping young prospects on board as the transfer deadline looms.

Rusk reports plenty of interest from teams below the Premier League in taking emerging talent off their hands for the last three months of the season.

Versatile defender Ben White, who faces Tottenham for Newport County on Saturday, is a great example of a technically skilled player who has grown up away from under-23s’ football this term.

But Rusk believes the benefits of staying at the parent club and playing in the development league can be under-valued.

That is why Albion will think long and hard about any loan approaches between now and next Wednesday’s deadline.

Rusk told The Argus: “With the windows changing we don’t have the option of month-long loans any more.

“Window to window, we probably assess it a little more than we would if it was a month.

“We want the lads to go into realistic situations where they have got to compete for the shirt and perform.

“We don’t want people going and not playing football for three months, which can happen.

“It is results dependant and managers can change.

“We make sure our players are going to get a fair crack of the whip.

“We are very open to loans.

“The fact clubs are taking an interest in our players is encouraging and represents progress.

“We have good sides in League One showing an interest.

“We have Christian Walton doing very well at Wigan, we have Mathias Normann at Molde.

“But it is always a balance.

“We don’t devalue the players being in our own building.

“We feel strongly about the under-23s’ league.

“I think it is a good level of football.

“It is tactically and technically very challenging.

“Of course it’s not going to have the intense atmosphere of playing in front of a full house.

“But it challenges the players in a way we are satisfied with.

“They also get the opportunity to train with our first team group.

“I think you see some of the bigger clubs now and they are not as keen to let all their players go out on loan.

“They want them in and around competing for that first team place. We are no different.”

Henrik Bjordal, who turns 21 next week, scored twice for the under-23s as they won 3-1 in tricky conditions at Whitehawk on Tuesday to reach the last four of the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup.

Rusk believes he benefited from a loan stint at top Swedish side IFK Gothenburg last year.

He added: “All the boys who go out and have a bit of exposure, whether it be overseas or in England, it helps.

“His attitude is always spot-on and he has impacted a few games with some good goals.”

Rusk was pleased with how his youthful side coped at Whitehawk.

He said: “These games are real challenges in a different way.

“You haven’t got that physical advantage so you need to find a different way.

“I thought the boys’ attitude, as we would expect, was spot-on.

“We had some moments of quality as well.

“Whitehawk have brought in a few lads who can cause teams problems at their level of football.

“It was quite a heavy, difficult pitch which has an impact on the flow of the game.

“Taking all that into consideration, you have to say it’s a good win for the lads.”