James Ward-Prowse is pleased that Claude Puel made it clear when he was appointed as Southampton boss, that the young players have a clear route for them to progress all the way to the first team.
Puel was hired as the successor to Ronald Koeman as he departed for Everton and on the first day of his reign he approached all the academy starlets and told them they would be credited with a first team opportunity if they worked hard and earned it.
The production line
The Southampton academy has produced some of the greats in our game, including the likes of Gareth Bale, Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott and many more, and the Frenchman is looking to continue that trait in his time on the South Coast,
The statement was music to the ears of the Saints academy graduate, James Ward-Prowse.
The England Under-21 captain was delighted when Puel gave the announcement because he believes that the youth programme at St Mary's is a solid building block at the club, and is key to the resurgence of the club over the last few years.
The midfielder claims that Puel made it clear that the “pathway” is open for the younger players if they want it.
He also went on to say that its “pleasing” to see that the young guns can take the “opportunity to impress” when they can.
Matthew Targett, Harrison Reed and Jake Hesketh have all featured this season and join Ward-Prowse in the squad regularly under Puel.
Hesketh and Reed started against Crystal Palace in the EFL Cup and are gradually making their way off the fringes and into contention for first team spot.
Ward Prowse believes that the team need an “ethos” and they need to continue this way in the future.