Southampton supporters in the Transfer Tavern were reasonably satisfied with their side’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle United over the weekend, a result which had taken Mauricio Pellegrino’s men into the top half of the Premier League before West Brom’s draw at Leicester City on Monday night.
The South Coast outfit went into their clash at home to Rafa Benitez’s Magpies having lost three of their previous four league matches, and twice fell behind to the visitors thanks to goals from Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez either side of half time. However, striker Manolo Gabbiadini twice equalised, the latter from the penalty spot after Florian Lejeune clumsily fouled Shane Long, to preserve a point for Pellegrino’s side and indeed end a run of three successive defeats at St Mary’s in all competitions.
The result had taken Southampton into the top ten but West Brom drew 1-1 at Leicester on Monday to go back above the Saints, but nonetheless there were more positive signs for the South Coast side, not least the fact they actually managed to bag more than one goal in a league game for just the second time this season.
And there was more encouraging signs for our resident Saints supporters earlier in the week following a report from The Daily Mail, which detailed that Pellegrino’s men were in the race for highly-rated MK Dons youngster Callum Brittain.
The 19-year-old defender has made great strides at the stadium:mk in recent times and looks destined for a huge future in the game, and as such has attracted the interest of several top-flight sides, notably Chelsea, Tottenham, and indeed Southampton.
But given their recent history of developing young talent, and indeed the greater opportunities for regular football, Brittain should look to St Mary’s as the next destination on his footballing adventure.
Ultimately, when you take a look back at the youth system at Southampton, many quality players have come up through it and learnt their trade at the club, most notably club legends like Mick Channon and Matt Le Tissier, but also the likes of Gareth Bale, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, and Theo Walcott.
And that willingness to give young players an opportunity remains true to this very day, with the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Jack Stephens, albeit the latter didn’t come up through the academy, earning regular football in the last 12 months or so, while Sam McQueen and Josh Sims have also broken through and shown their qualities in recent times.
Clearly, it’s a club which trusts young players and, more importantly, gives them a platform to go out and perform, and if you are someone like Brittain, who is hugely talented and being eyed up by several big names, that’s something to bear in mind.
The right-back has impressed under Robbie Nielson since his senior debut for the Dons back in January, but the only way to keep developing is by playing regular football at a competitive level, and that is certainly more likely to happen at St Mary’s than it is at Stamford Bridge or Wembley.
Although Mauricio Pochettino, formerly Saints manager of course, is also willing to give youth a chance, the competition at Spurs is fierce given their European commitments, and it seems unlikely that Brittain would go there and usurp Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters in the right-back pecking order.
But at Southampton, where the chances are greater and youth are given opportunities to prove themselves, the 19-year-old could go on and fulfil his undoubted potential, and as such the Saints must seek to beat the London duo to the defender’s signature.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!