Here is the view of a parent with particular reason to be interested in Albion's youth system.

"It's always nice to see young boys come through and play for their local side. That's what it's all about really, but it becomes more and more difficult the higher you get.

"Now we are in the top division it will be a lot more difficult for young boys to step in.

"Dunky and Solly stepped into the Championship, Dunky even League One. They've learnt their trade and are now flourishing in the Premier League, but you need an outstanding talent in a youngster, I think, to drop them into a Premier League side."

These are the words of Albion centre-forward Glenn Murray, whose son is in the Academy. And he is right.

The reality is reaching the Premier League has made it even harder for youngsters through the various age groups, dreaming of one day breaking into the first team.

Murray's remarks, made while discussing the success down the years of Southampton's production line, strike at the heart of the problem for the prospects who have won two World Cups for England.

In the summer it was the under-20's, now the under-17s and their thrilling comeback against Spain.

The future looks bright, as long as they get an opportunity to continue their development.

That is the tricky bit, especially as the majority are attached to elite clubs.

Take Phil Foden, for example, who scored twice against Spain, was named player of the tournament and, according to Phil Neville, is a "superstar in the making".

Pep Guardiola speaks highly of Foden but he will need to live up to Neville's exalted billing to get much game time in Manchester City's star-studded Premier League squad any time soon.

There is more chance for them at clubs outside of the top six, although even then it is tough.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Everton and Lewis Cook at Bournemouth have played games since the under-20s triumphed in the summer.

Will it last? Both clubs are currently in the bottom three. Everton are without a manager and the general consensus is, for all their summer spending, they are in desperate need of a striker after losing Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.

Come January with a new boss and new forward, Calvert-Lewin's opportunities are likely to be far more limited.

You cannot blame the managers. The impatience of owners and supporters does not allow them to think long-term.

Most are a handful of bad results away from the sack. It is hard to keep faith in kids, still learning the game, in those circumstances.

As Murray points out, Dunk and March (below) had the benefit of breaking through when Albion were playing at a lower level. All the while the club remains in the Premier League it will be challenging for any youngster to make such a leap.

The Argus: Even now it is tough for March. He performed consistently well across the first eight games but has lost his place in the last two matches. Jose Izquierdo was not going to stay on the bench forever, not after the Seagulls splashed out a record £13.5 million on the Colombian winger.

On Saturday at Swansea, Albion face Tammy Abraham, the centre-forward they wanted to borrow from Chelsea in the summer.

Chelsea have 26 players out on loan. They receive a lot of criticism for this, much of it unjustified.

Izzy Brown is with the Seagulls, Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Crystal Palace, Kurt Zouma at Stoke, Kasey Palmer at Huddersfield.

Fikayo Tomori, another of the England under-20s world champions - who was with Albion last season - is among a raft of others Chelsea players loaned out to Championship clubs (in his case Hull).

They are all being exposed to a first team environment at a high level. They will benefit more from that than the cosseted world of under-23s football.

If they are not, in the end, considered good enough for Chelsea's first team, they will at least have been given the opportunity to show they are good enough to make it elsewhere.