The Athletic is reporting that Southampton have confirmed his signing. They fought off competition from Aston Villa, Leeds United, Chelsea and teams from across Europe to land the sought-after 17-year-old defender. Everton will be due to receive a fee by way of compensation for the time and effort they have invested in his development through the Academy over the last 6 years.
The highly rated young left-back was expected to sign his first professional contract with Everton when he turned 17 on 1 August 2021, but had made it known that he felt his advancement would be stalled with Lucas Digne and Niels Nkounkou ahead of him.
Reader Comments (42)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 23/08/2021 at 22:58:58
2 Posted 23/08/2021 at 23:05:18
3 Posted 23/08/2021 at 23:07:59
4 Posted 23/08/2021 at 23:43:14
5 Posted 23/08/2021 at 23:49:10
6 Posted 24/08/2021 at 00:20:39
7 Posted 24/08/2021 at 00:31:03
Whats the club to do here? Id probably opt not to mention anything about it too, if im honest. Its not a good imagine to sell to aspiring young footballers, but silence also avoids giving the young lad a platform to air his views.
Good luck, but a real shame as the lad could of forged a career here, maybe
8 Posted 24/08/2021 at 05:30:44
If they are genuinely good enough, or outstanding as Rooney was, they will, through their football, rise to the top of the pecking order. Only thing then is, all sorts of clubs want to buy them, sometimes you just can't win!
9 Posted 24/08/2021 at 05:56:08
And at 17, we still don't know if he'll make it to the level we want or need regardless of the potential.
Interested to see where this goes. Has he been badly advised and there is nothing lined up? Or is he just unhappy and wants out or to go home and wait for something to come along? I can't think that's the case, but it could be a factor.
I do always like to add some empathy with some of these young players when they have been taken out of their natural surroundings and away from family and friends at such a young age. He was 11 I believe when he got involved with Everton and he's a West Midlands lad.
I might be getting soft in my old age and civilian life, but just something I always consider. 95 miles is a world away when you're 11 or even 16-17. Didn't Baines allegedly struggle with this for many years?
10 Posted 24/08/2021 at 08:18:04
He's been doing since 11 years old so must be well used to it now
I'm afraid I have much less sympathy/empathy… I think (from what we're aware of) he's a spoilt brat.
Admittedly that might be harsh but how can he be ready for first-team regular Premier League football at this age… and who is he to determine that?
11 Posted 24/08/2021 at 08:30:51
12 Posted 24/08/2021 at 08:43:46
Blows my hearts and minds sentiment out of the water, if true, Matthew. He either doesn't like Everton or doesn't see a short-term opportunity. And he can only be thinking short-term, which at such a young age, I can kind of understand. You want it all and you want it now. Sometimes, no matter how much you are told or advised, you just have to go out and find out for yourself. Even when that means making mistakes.
13 Posted 24/08/2021 at 08:44:04
14 Posted 24/08/2021 at 11:08:02
15 Posted 24/08/2021 at 11:13:52
16 Posted 24/08/2021 at 11:32:07
17 Posted 24/08/2021 at 11:52:13
18 Posted 24/08/2021 at 12:00:48
Probably an easier path for him for first team opportunities. I think our club had to bet on him or Nkounkou and the latter is more advanced.
19 Posted 24/08/2021 at 12:20:08
Sometimes we slate players for jumping to the big moves too early only to warm a bench.
Now the debate about him overrating himself and being impatient could be valid. But maybe he's doing this for footballing reasons and sees an opportunity to get to first team football quicker?
Time will tell. I actually wish the lad well.
20 Posted 24/08/2021 at 12:34:21
Here's a few I remember...
Bale, Luke Shaw, Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Shearer, Le Tissier.
However, many of the Southampton young players do go elsewhere after a while and have decent careers!
Personally, I would love us to develop a team of youngsters that can go and rule the world..never going to happen. Teams need instant success these days so buy players in.
Small probably just saw players like Luke Garbutt, Matthew Pennington and many others who were still being loaned out in their mid-twenties and thought what's the point
21 Posted 24/08/2021 at 12:41:39
22 Posted 24/08/2021 at 12:43:42
As Danny, Tony say, maybe a better chance of him getting first team football there.
At least there are a few in the U23s to give us hope. Small mercies?
23 Posted 24/08/2021 at 13:04:17
24 Posted 24/08/2021 at 13:10:14
He probably sees Southampton as a better stepping stone plus it's lovely on the south coast..
25 Posted 24/08/2021 at 13:32:04
To be fair, what's the worst thing that can happen for him? He doesn't make it at Southampton instead of not making it at Goodison? If he's any good, he'll be at a bigger club soon enough.
From our perspective, it's a shame. But he fell between two categories - he wasn't ready to be either first choice or first back-up, but he wasn't prepared to just play U23 football. Not sure why he couldn't just go out on loan though.
Nkounkou had better turn out to be brilliant!
26 Posted 24/08/2021 at 13:32:19
Why do some Evertonians constantly bleat about the staff at Finch Farm being rank amateurs or unable to do their jobs properly? The lad didn't want to stay at Everton, big deal, he moves on and so does the club.
Sometimes given the views of some Evertonians, I think I'm following a third division no-mark club but then I remember that Everton FC is one of the giants of the game, a fallen giant agreed but still a big club. Other young players leave other big teams from time to time, it's just the way things work out, but if it happens to Everton, it has to be because the club is useless according to some.
Who needs rival fans when some of our own have the knives at the ready at any news which might suit their own preconceived ideas?
27 Posted 24/08/2021 at 13:35:57
“We have already signed a player this summer with good experience at left-back in Romain Perraud, and Thierrys arrival now gives us a very good balance and a strong additional option in that position..."
Ooo err, Thierry… perhaps the path to stardom may not be so simple after all!
28 Posted 24/08/2021 at 13:57:09
29 Posted 24/08/2021 at 14:21:43
He believes he has a chance at a smaller club in the future, than at a larger club than Everton who have shown that in the position he plays will pay high fees for an experienced player, and even though he has been given a chance in the first team it was going to be difficult.
We don't know anything about his personnel life outside of football and that may be another factor in his wanting to leave. I wish the boy all the best and hope he becomes in what he believes his potential is.
The league is full of outstanding 16 yr olds that become average players when they get older and who is to say that this boy will become different.
30 Posted 24/08/2021 at 14:26:38
31 Posted 24/08/2021 at 14:49:42
32 Posted 24/08/2021 at 14:51:17
I agree with you, I have no doubt there are many factors that need to be taken into account. I'm not privy to what goes on in the lives of apprentice footballers, but I'm led to believe that they have to cut all ties with the junior clubs they were involved with. As they get older they more often than not, have to move many miles from home as I understand it, this in its own way can have a dramatic effect, and then the ambitions of any youngster have to be considered.
Bill, I left you a message on the 'Best signing" thread, I hope that it can be of interest to you.
33 Posted 24/08/2021 at 15:13:27
34 Posted 24/08/2021 at 15:35:04
Has he forgotten he is our youngest ever player? I would imagine most players wouldn't expect to be in and around the first team at 16 years old.
Still, he didn't want to be here, and got a move to another real club, so I don't really bear him any ill will.
35 Posted 24/08/2021 at 15:43:48
I did think this snippet was amusing in the article:
“Its such a big place and a great city when I came to visit, and I thought this is the best place for me to develop as a player and reach new levels to my game.” As someone who grew up in Hampshire, calling it a big & great city is probably not the first thing I think of, I always thought it was a bit of a dump. Also, the fabled Saints academy is not what it used to be. They aren't churning out a conveyer belt of talent anymore. They've switched to targeting older players (18-19 year olds) from other clubs to try to give them first team action.
36 Posted 24/08/2021 at 17:01:37
He must be looking at other youngsters like Broadhead who is 23 and hardly had a sniff whilst we only have 1 recognised striker. Carlo had very little faith in the youth, this is something we need to address going forward or more talents like Small will look at alternative options. If you look at Dortmund's side there are many 17 - 19 year olds playing week in week out. If we had Bellingham he'd still be in the U23's, we need to be better at giving the youth more game time, especially when the same poor performances (Gomes, Bernard) are rewarded. It's no suprise the lad has left.
37 Posted 24/08/2021 at 17:15:40
38 Posted 24/08/2021 at 17:46:32
It was just something that I seemed to remember from that time, I have since then read his full history.
39 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:38:20
I'm guessing an opinion that "he MIGHT be watching" translates to the definitive "he IS watching" in your parish which if perchance is Orrell Park would make sense. At Blessed Sacrament School there was a Paul Hesketh in the 60s who didn't know which way was up and as we all know the apple never falls far from the tree
40 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:23:48
41 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:43:59
I find it funny how one moment we have a thread on Broadhead or whoever, and all the talk is at how Everton's youth coaching isn't up to scratch, how Everton are failing to promote from the academy, how this and that example of failed youth.
Then a young player goes, you know what, maybe i'll be better off at Southampton, a club with a track record of promoting from youth with a number of graduates playing at the highest level and for their national team. And everyone here slates him for being 'badly advised'.
42 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:35:29
Not seen anything defensively to say Small is better than Digne or Godfrey anyway. Leave the attacking stuff out wide to players like Gray.
We need to put the money from outgoings towards a decent right back to challenge Coleman, someone ready to play.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.