The Athletic’s Dan Sheldon has named Ryan Finnigan as the key academy prospect everyone at Southampton has been raving about.
The 17-year-old joined the Saints academy in 2012 and signed his first professional contract with the club in December.
It seems that the central midfielder is making a name for himself behind the scenes, with Sheldon claiming that ‘people within the club’ rate the teenager very highly indeed.
Talking on the Total Saints podcast, Sheldon explained the hype around the starlet, saying: “You speak to people within the club, they do generally rave about him.
“They think, of all the academy players kind of coming through at the moment, he’s the one that stands out the most.”
TIF thoughts on Ryan Finnigan and Southampton…
As things stand, the Saints are not blessed with great depth in central midfield. James Ward-Prowse, Ibrahima Diallo and Oriol Romeu are the three obvious candidates, but if an injury or suspension was to befall one of those three, there could be an outside chance of Finnigan getting a first-team call-up.
Sheldon went on to claim that a new arrival in midfield could hamper Finnigan’s progress and threaten his future at the club, so it’s surely important for Southampton to manage the youngster appropriately given how highly they rate his potential.
For the moment, however, he will have to continue to impress while playing for the club’s B team in the Premier League 2. He has featured for the club three times in the second-tier youth competition this season already, while last term, he spent more time in the Under-18 division.
Considering the recent additions of highly-rated teenagers Tino Livramento and Thierry Small, the Saints could well have some huge talents on their hands. It will certainly be interesting to see how they all develop in the near future.