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Southampton developing the future stars of English football

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In recent weeks, the issue regarding a lack of quality young players has been doing the rounds, with Gregg Dyke setting up a commission to tackle the issue.

Needless to say that the commission has come in for much criticism from various different corners.

It's fair to say that with all the arguing going on before it's underway, is their any hope that the commission will succeed? Either way, Southampton Football Club seem to be way ahead in the player development stakes.

With the focus of the British football world seemingly on player development, much of the focus from the media has been pointing Southampton's way, partly due to the history of player development of the club, but equally due to the current crop of young stars that are plying their trade in the Premier League.

A huge amount of credit has to go to Nicola Cortese. As soon as he was installed as Chief Executive of Southampton Football Club, he set about creating an environment which embraced its youth prospects, and tried to ensure that there was a pathway for the youngsters coming through to get to the first team.

Highlighting Barcelona's example, Cortese stated that he wanted 50% of the first team to have come from Saints Academy. At the time, with Saints languishing near the bottom of Division One, to many it seemed a bit fanciful.

Five years later Southampton kicked off their first game of the season with a squad of players containing three eighteen year old kids - Luke Shaw; James Ward-Prowse; and Callum Chambers, (all of whom started) and no less than ten English players.

With the current success at Southampton, and the confident performances from the Saints star players drawing envious glances, surely it's only a matter of time until several clubs come calling for their star players.

18-year-old Luke Shaw has already been heavily linked with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal, and surely he won't be the only talent at St Mary's to attract attention.

With Southampton's great start to the season there are growing calls for England call ups for Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez, Nathaniel Clyne, as well as calls for Morgan Schneiderlin, and Jose Fonte to play for France and Portugal respectively.

Along with the extremely impressive performances of Saints established internationals such as Dejan Lovren, it could well be that come January, Maurico Pochettino may well have a battle on his hands to keep his young team together.

Surely though, when the big clubs come knocking for Saints young stars, we'll see them leave won't we? Certainly on various social media, and internet forums the talk is that a few of these players could be tempted to leave. Predominantly the talk seems to surround Luke Shaw, Nathaniel Clyne, and James Ward-Prowse. 

Perhaps Saint's fans will see a player or two leave, but I'm guessing that any players leaving will be peripheral to Maricio Pochettino's plans. In Nicola Cortese, they have a tough-talking, ambitious leader, who has instilled a belief that anything is possible - he has been open about his desire to have Saints playing in Europe's top competition.

Nicola Cortese received much criticism for replacing Nigel Adkins, but in Maricio Pochettino they have a highly rated, young manager that Adam Lallana recently stated will go on to manage one of the best clubs in the world. Indeed Nicola's decision seems to have been fully vindicated.

Things couldn't be much better for Saints right now, with them riding high in the Premier League. A talented manager; an ambitious Chief Exec; and a great team spirit. I have to ask why on earth would any players chose to leave?

Yes, they could join a big club, and earn a lot more cash, but Southampton have an outside chance of upsetting the established order. For the young first team players at the club, many of whom have been there as part of the academy set-up, playing first team football for your home club has to be worth so much more.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Southampton
Adam Lallana
Luke Shaw
Morgan Schneiderlin

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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