Southampton have confirmed a new intake of youth academy players, with 12 players awarded scholarships for the Under-18s.
The club wrote on their official website that four players were joining the club from elsewhere, while eight current academy prospects were rewarded with fresh deals.
The youngsters have signed two-year deals until 22, but defender Leon Pambou and Fedel Ross-Lang, a midfielder, have been tied down for three years having both arrived from outside of the academy.
The vision for the future
The longest-serving of the 12 players are Kaya Tshaka, Ryan Finnegan and Harvey Woods, each of whom have come up through the ranks since Under-9s level in 2012.
Academy manager Edd Vahid praised the attitude of the group and their “curiosity to learn and really understand the Southampton Way” while emphasising his pride at seeing players making their way all the way through the academy.
But the hard work continues as they become full-time players and strive for the ultimate goal of playing for the first-team, and Vahid tips the players to respond to the increased expectation and professionalism and continue their strong development.
Esteemed graduates aplenty
The Saints academy has been one of the most successful in the English game down the years, developing legends like Alan Shearer, Matt Le Tissier and Kevin Phillips.
Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw are just a few modern stars that have come out of Staplewood Campus, while the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Michael Obafemi, Yan Valery and Will Smallbone represent the current crop within the current squad.
The club’s vision, as per their official website, is for 50% of the first-team squad to be made up of academy graduates each year and is something the club takes immense pride in.