The Athletic’s Dan Sheldon has claimed that Southampton are ‘very impressed’ by teenager Thierry Small and he could turn out for the first team soon.
Over the summer, the Saints convinced the 17-year-old to leave Everton and sign a three-year professional contract with their club.
Up to this point, however, the youngster has not yet made a senior appearance for his new team, being limited to outings in the Saints’ academy side instead.
While speaking on the Total Saints podcast, Sheldon has explained that this is nothing to do with Small’s ability, but is instead due to the fact that he didn’t have a full pre-season to get himself immediately ready for first-team football.
He said: “I had a conversation with someone about Thierry Small, actually, within the club a couple of days ago. And I was just kind of trying to gauge, what’s his development.
“And he didn’t have a pre-season whatsoever. So he came in, he had to then catch up, play minutes in the B team. And I was told if the FA Cup third round was next week, Thierry would be starting; he’d be playing that game.
“So they are impressed with how he’s developed, but I knew they’re impressed. They’re very impressed by his level that he’s shown in training and in the B team games.
“But it’s just taken him a little bit longer, because he had no pre-season whatsoever and had to kind of catch up the basic fitness levels with the rest of the squad. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see him appear a bit more often.”
TIF Thoughts on Thierry Small and Southampton…
Being such a young age, it should come as no surprise that Small is yet to feature for the Saints’ first team. However, he did have one senior appearance for Everton, earning five minutes in an FA Cup tie last season.
With that in mind, he probably would have been shown a path into the Southampton team when he signed a contract with the club.
Will Thierry Small become a first-team star at Southampton?
But with Kyle Walker-Peters and Romain Perraud currently battling it out for the left-back role under Ralph Hasenhuttl, it seems like that route may be somewhat blocked.
Still, if Small can get a few opportunities here and there in the near future, as Sheldon suggests he may well do, the teenager could slowly begin to edge his way closer to regular Premier League football.
For now, at least, it is good he is impressing in training.