Southampton are reportedly interested in signing non-league defender Oliver Creed, according to TEAMtalk.
The Saints are allegedly keeping tabs on the young defender ahead of a potential move for him in 2020, though are not alone. The report claims that Crystal Palace, West Ham and Bournemouth are all also keen on the teenager, as are Championship duo Millwall and Brentford.
The 16-year-old has established himself in the first-team at Woking and is apparently due to sign professional terms with the Surrey-based club soon.
Woking are currently flying high in the National League Premier Division – the country’s fifth-tier – having earned promotion from the National League South last term.
The Cards currently sit 7th in the division after 17 matches and will have aspirations of achieving back-to-back promotions this term, should they continue with their promising early form.
Creed may not be around for the whole campaign, however, if the reports are to be believed. With such heavy interest in the young defender from clubs in the top two tiers of English football, a move in January could well be on the horizon for the exciting prospect.
Indeed, Brentford have previous when it comes to snapping up young talents from non-league, having signed Andre Gray from Luton Town in 2014 – who were playing in the National League at the time despite now plying their trade in the Championship.
However, the Saints are also well-known for nurturing young, homegrown talents through to first-team football, with the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Jack Stephens and Yan Valery all coming through the club’s academy system in recent years to obtain a regular slot in the first-team at St. Mary’s.
Creed could also remain local to Woking if he did make the switch to Southampton – due to their being only 46 miles between the two locations – making a move for the youngster fairly probable if the Premier League side felt it worthwhile. While the idea of someone coming from non-league to instantly fix a backline Ralph Hasenhuttl himself has previously criticised is unlikely, the Saints could certainly do with any extra help in that position having conceded 15 already, the third-highest amount in the league.
Should Ralph Hasenhuttl be under pressure at Southampton?
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