Former Southampton youngster Max Alleyne has completed his move to Manchester City for a reported £1.5m.
The 16-year-old was clearly highly thought of by Southampton but his talent seems to have caught the eye of City given the considerable size of the fee they have paid out.
According to a report from Hampshire Live, the £1.5m transfer was agreed between the two clubs in question last summer. Saints can reinvest another good amount back into their academy having previously brought in a huge amount from the sales of academy graduates.
Having started a revamp of their academy setup under Head of Football Operations Matt Crocker this year, Southampton will hope there are more players with talent equal to Alleyne to come through their system soon.
Southampton’s new plans will take time to come to the fore
In a Fans’ Forum last season, Matt Crocker explained how he had overseen a change to the academy recruitment structure at Southampton. Since then, he has also added additional coaching staff to the B team and Under-18s group to ensure that players have access to advice on how to improve their play when they need it.
Adding these new things will not be trying to get an instant impact – it is just not possible to change everything that quickly.
The aim will be to get the academy back to working efficiently and creating strong groups of players in the next 2-5 years, with these newly implemented plans also helping the club in the long-term beyond that timeframe too.
There will always be individual players who come through and impress all the time but it will be important for a club like Southampton and with their reputation to start producing a handful of first-team quality players from each group that progresses up to Under-18s and B team levels.
Saints will also hope that they are able to keep hold of these players into the future rather than seeing them depart for clubs like Manchester City.