Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Southampton may have another future star on their hands in the shape of Ryan Finnigan, with Academy Director Matt Hale praising a midfielder with ‘high potential’ while speaking to the Saints’ official website.

Ralph Hasenhuttl was famed over in Germany for his ability to get the best out of talented youngsters, from Timo Werner to Naby Keita.

So, with the Austrian at the helm, Southampton’s next generation should be confident that they will be given an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and co at St Mary’s.

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Michael Obafemi, Nathan Tella and Dan N’Lundulu have all featured under Hasenhuttl this season and 17-year-old Finnigan could be the next off the production line if he continues to impress behind the scenes.

A deep-lying midfielder, Finnigan has made eight appearances for the club’s U18s this season.

“Ryan has been through our pathway from a very early age and is a fine prodigy of our Southampton Way,” Hale said of the teenager, who was rewarded with a professional contract on Friday.

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

“He is not only an excellent player with high potential but emulates our club ethos and values and plays with a maturity well above his years.”

Fedel Ross-Lang, Jeremi Rodriguez and the appropriately-named Diamond Edwards have also committed their long-term futures to the South Coast club – much to the delight of Southampton’s Academy Director.  

“With Diamond, Fedel and Jeremi, we have worked hard through our recruitment work to bring these talented players to the football Club,” Hale added.

“All three of them have begun their full time programme with us this year very well and look promising young talent that can have an exciting future at our club.”

Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

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