Three young Southampton players to look out for this season

Southampton manager Claude Puel

Southampton's famed youth academy is still producing excellent young players. Here are three who could make breakthroughs into the first-team this year.

Lloyd Isgrove

Barnsley's James O'Brien (L) in action with Southampton's Lloyd Isgrove

Lloyd Isgrove is a young winger that had a terrific season last season on loan at Barnsley, securing promotion with the Tykes, and may have his sights set on making some Premier League appearances this year.

The right-sided midfielder has made just one full Saints appearance, back in 2012, and has been capped once by his nation Wales.

Isgrove has said that if he does not play enough games at St. Mary's then he may be forced to leave permanently, but coming off the back of an impressive last season, new manager Claude Puel might be tempted to give Isgrove a chance and blood him into the first XI. 

Jack Stephens 

England's Jack Stephens walks off after being shown a red card

Jack Stephens is a versatile young player that can either play as a centre-back or as a holding midfielder. Stephens is yet to make his senior debut for Southampton, but has played for England in each and every age group from Under-18s to Under-21s, so the signs suggest that he will go on to become an outstanding defensive player.

Stephens has had a series of loans in the past couple of seasons, spending plenty of time at League 1 Swindon before a loan spell at Middlesbrough, where Stephens failed to become a first team regular. He was recalled from Middlesbrough and instead went on loan to Coventry, where he featured on numerous occasions.

Having been a part of the England Under-21 squad that won the recent Toulon tournament, Stephens should now be looking to muscle his way into the first team picture at Southampton. Expect Stephens to appear on a Saints' team-sheet very soon. 

Harrison Reed 

Southampton manager Claude Puel and Harrison Reed before being substituted on

Reed is a player that burst onto the radar when he made his Premier League debut at the age of 18. But since then his playing time has been limited, and he made just the one league appearance last season.

Much like Isgrove, if Reed doesn't see much Premier League action this term then he should look for an opportunity to move elsewhere. The central midfielder has been praised for his passing ability and his tenacious tackling, and with the loss of midfielder Victor Wanyama to Tottenham the summer, might that open the door for Reed to step up if he can impress manager Puel. 

With a new man in charge, it is an ideal chance for the wealth of young talent at the club to stake their claim for a first-team role. These three exciting young talents should be hoping that they can show Puel enough in their performances in pre-season to be given an opportunity to play some top flight football at St Mary's in the coming year.  



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