ALBION could loan out young hot-shot Aaron Connolly in January.

They are weighing up whether to continue his development with a temporary exit or keep him in-house with the under-23s.

Republic of Ireland prospect Connolly, 18, has scored 12 goals in 14 games for the under-23s.

Coach Simon Rusk told The Argus: "Aaron falls into the bracket of a lot of the players.

"He is getting some headlines because he's scored a lot of goals but a lot of the lads are doing well in the group.

"With that I'm sure comes a little bit of interest from other clubs who would want to take him on loan.

"It's about us as a football club sitting down and weighing up the most suitable thing for Aaron's next phase after Christmas. That will be a joint decision."

Boss Chris Hughton handed Connolly his senior debut as a substitute in the Carabao Cup against Barnet last season and a few more minutes against Southampton in the same competition earlier this season.

Connolly's next hope of seeing any first team action will not be until January in the FA Cup.

Rusk said: "There is always a balance to be struck between players going out on loan and staying and developing.

"I have always maintained that no matter what bracket you are in you have got to drive it forwards.

"We cannot let everyone out on loan – it just doesn't work like that – it will be a measured decision about who goes where.

"Either way the message will be the same, keep working as hard as you can and see where it takes you, particularly as a forward.

"Of course, you get a bit of attention when the goals are coming and that's a good thing but I'm interested from a coaching point of view if the goals don't come can you keep working hard, keep that attitude, keep things going.

"Ultimately it's about those standards but he's working hard and that's the most important thing for me."