Former Southampton forward James Beattie told BleacherReport in an exclusive interview that he’s been impressed by the recent performances of youngster Harrison Reed.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been given an opportunity to impress in the Saints midfield and he’s grasped it with both hands making four starts and three appearances off the bench in the Premier League this season.
Beattie has highlighted a performance from earlier this season, he was particularly impressed by because of the way Reed contained an opposition player.
“Harrison Reid is a player I’ve seen a number of times this year and he’s really impressed me,” said Beattie.
“He might be a small man in size, but certainly not in stature on the pitch. I saw him do one of the best jobs on Ross Barkley when Everton came to St. Marys.”
The praise is significant considering Barkley is rated as one of the best midfield talents playing in English football.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez said back in 2013 that his club wouldn’t sell Barkley, even if they had an offer of around £50 million.
The job for Reed is to reproduce the solid job he did on Barkley in other games against big sides who have influential attacking players.
If he can play consistently against the best players and the best teams, his stock will rise and he should continue to get chances in the Southampton first team.
Ronald Koeman’s job as his manager is to have the guts to keep throwing him into the team and to know when to take him out of the side to protect him from the pressure and criticism which can come from playing in the Premier League.
He’s got a bright future and he’s another great example of how strong the Southampton academy system is.