When outsiders think of Southampton Football Club, they think of The Saints’ outstanding youth programme, and our ability to produce top talent.

Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Matt Le Tissier, Alan Shearer. They’re all big names in world football from the past and in the present.

However, former Saints manager Ronald Koeman famously called out the illustrious Southampton youth system in his last season with the club, stating that they are not good enough.

But Claude Puel has shown the academy’s strength once again. James Ward-Prowse, Harrison Reed, Matt Targett, and Sam McQueen highlight this generation that is currently breaking through into the first team.

The Frenchman has handed a number of players opportunities this season, and in some cases debuts, as he looks to kick on with The Southampton Way when it comes to the development of the youngsters.

Let’s look into the future though, and analyse the hottest prospects to break into first team in coming years!

Start slideshow

Read more from Christian Candler

Yan Valery

Callum Slattery

Josh Sims

Alfie Jones

Sam Gallagher