Southampton have announced the signing of 17-year-old former Everton left-back Thierry Small on a three-year contract.
Small joins Saints having cut short his time at Everton and arrives at St Mary’s having seemingly been handed a place in the first-team squad for this season. A fee still needs to be agreed between the two clubs in question though.
He will play backup to Romain Perraud, who was also signed this summer and who has played the majority of the two opening Premier League fixtures on the left side of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s defence.
More information on Small’s move to Saints is revealed by the Athletic, with reporter Dan Sheldon suggesting that interest from Chelsea, Leeds, Aston Villa and European clubs was seen off to secure his signature.
Southampton secure another highly-rated talent with Thierry Small
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A lot was made of Saints’ capture of Tino Livramento in this window and the signing of Small has a very similar feel to it. It is clear that he is also one of the best young English players about and Saints have won the race to sign him with the promise of immediate first-team involvement.
It is hard to argue that this has not been a hugely successful transfer window for the club and that is despite the departures of Danny Ings, Ryan Bertrand and Jannik Vestergaard.
Small follows Adam Armstrong, Romain Perraud, Armando Broja, Tino Livramento, Dynel Simeu and Theo Walcott through the door. Young players now make up most of the team and there is a fresh look about things that could pay off when the talent on show blossoms in the next two to three years.
Saints do still have one more deal to announce and it is said to not be too far away. The Athletic also reveal that a deal for Torino defender Lyanco is all but done, with paperwork and a visa still to be sorted.
The captures of Small and Lyanco will give a real competitive edge to the Saints squad for this season and depth now appears to be healthy across all positions.
It remains to be seen whether the club will be drawn into an last-minute business with transfer deadline day just around the corner, but it is fair to say that outgoing fringe players will be more likely than any more arrivals.