Southampton are believed to have told midfielder Will Smallbone that he can leave the St. Mary’s Stadium on loan this summer.
The Lowdown: Smallbone’s long-term injury
As per the club’s official website, the 22-year-old is an academy graduate of the south coast outfit after first joining aged eight, where he has worked his way up through the ranks to become an integral feature in the Saints’ U23s side.
Despite this breakthrough, the Republic Of Ireland U21 international sustained a serious long-term ACL injury during the 2020/21 season which halted any potential first-team chances. He missed a staggering 35 matches and hasn’t been able to get a consistent run of games ever since.
The Latest: Southampton give ‘green light’
In a new article published by The Sun, it’s claimed that Southampton have given Smallbone the ‘green light’ to leave on a loan transfer during the upcoming window.
The source states that manager Ralph Hasenhuttl ‘rates’ the creative midfielder, but feels like there are more experienced players in the Premier League squad that are currently ‘ahead of him’.
The Verdict: Time to make progress
Having made just four league outings under the Austrian boss since returning from injury, it comes as no shock to see that the Saints number 20 is set to make a move away from the top-flight giants in the coming weeks.
Smallbone, who Hasenhuttl once said has the “whole package”, has one goal and two assists in 20 total appearances for the senior side, but has never really forced his way into a consistent stretch as a part of the first XI.
Are Southampton right to let Smallbone leave?
It’s crucial for the youngster’s development that he now goes out and makes some progress away from St. Mary’s so that when he comes back, he can seriously start pushing for a regular place in the first team.
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