Southampton’s impressive production line continues to produce high-calibre players, with more of the club’s youngsters impressing on international duty this past week.
Next on the verge of the big time is young left-back Matthew Targett, who captained the England under 20’s side alongside club teammate Harrison Reed in the 1-1 draw with Turkey that clinched the Four Nations cup in Holland this week.
It is a huge rise for the 19-year-old, who made his first start this season in the Capital One Cup tie at Millwall earlier this season.
Long line of talent
Targett and Reed represent the latest talents off of a very fruitful production line at St. Mary’s, which started producing talent back in the days of Alan Shearer and Matthew Le Tissier.
However in recent years the amount of genuine stars that have come from the lavish Marchwood training ground to move on to bigger and better things in most cases has been nothing short of incredible.
Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale were the first to come into the Southampton team and move on, followed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and then Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers this summer, earning the club a whopping profit along the way.
Continuing to produce
This has not stopped the club continuing to press on with further improvements to their youth system and their aim to produce as many young players for the first team as possible.
Alongside Targett and Reed in Ronald Koeman's first-team squad is James Ward-Prowse, who would no doubt have been with the England under-21 squad this week if not for the injury he suffered recently.
Sam Gallagher has also been involved in recent England squads but he has yet to feature this season for Southampton due to an injury, whilst further down the ages comes Josh Sims, who helped England become European under-17 champions in 2014.
One thing that is clear to see though is that the ability of a youngster who receives the right guidance and support at Southampton could lead to them being the next big thing off of the ever increasing list of quality players the club has produced.