When Southampton ratified the £30 million sale of Luke Shaw to Manchester United in the summer transfer market, not many will have realised that the club - who have an academy renowned for being a conveyor belt of top-level footballing talent - may well have a long-term replacement in recently-turned 19-year-old Matt Targett.
The left back could well be another player to join the likes of Calum Chambers, Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana as household names as Targett has excelled at various youth-levels for the Saints, is a capped international at Under-19 and U20 level and is on the cusp of signing a new five-year deal designed to keep him on the South Coast.
Here are five facts about the precocious talent…
…are known admirers of the player but, at present, Targett has no intention of leaving St Mary's Stadium as his representative Leon Callender is quoted by The Mirror to have said: "We are in discussions over a new contract. He is in the right place."
2): U21 star
Targett was an ever-present for Southampton in the U21 Premier League last season and enjoyed a particularly hot streak in February and March where he scored, then assisted, and scored again in three consecutive matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
3): Senior starts
Having joined Southampton as an eight-year-old, well over ten years ago, Targett made his senior debut earlier this season in a second round League Cup match versus Millwall. The club triumphed with a 2-0 score which set up a clash with Arsenal, a 2-1 win which he also featured in.
4): Ronald Koeman…
…may be particularly enamoured with Targett's talent and anticipated upward career trajectory as the Dutchman, who succeeded Mauricio Pochettino earlier in the summer, has seemingly fast-tracked Targett and thrust him into the senior lime-light this season. It is believed that Targett has been asked to showcase his credentials to Koeman with any opportunity he is given this season, with the view of becoming primary left back next season.
5): On Shaw and Bale
Targett admitted experiencing "mixed emotions" when Shaw left as the pair grew up together and enjoyed a friendly relationship but the player's move to Manchester United granted a window of opportunity to the player. Bale's career path, meanwhile, is "inspirational". Targett said: “To see Gareth scoring in the final and winning the Champions League with one of the biggest clubs in the world was just incredible."