Southampton looking to trump Tottenham Hotspur to Nico Lawrence and Michael Craig
According to HampshireLive, Southampton are ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Nico Lawrence while also targeting Spurs starlet Michael Craig. This piece of information would be bad news for the North London side when it comes to boosting their academy.
AFC Bournemouth are also in the fray to secure the services of Glebe FC star Lawrence but are behind the Saints in the pursuit of signing him. The youngster has also attracted attention from several other Premier League and Championship sides following a rapid rise in stature of late.
The 19-year-old only joined the Kinetic Academy when he was 18 but moved to the non-league side after his early promise. Since then, he has attracted attention from several scouts resulting in the current stage. His club is open to letting him leave if an agreement can be reached about a potential move.
The young defender is currently on trial with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side alongside Craig, who is a midfielder at the academy at N17. The latter has earned plaudits at the youth level, which means that Antonio Conte’s team could be dealt two damning blows.
More transfer blows?
The Saints are renowned for their academy and the knack to identify and nurture future talents. Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw and Ben White are namely are some of the well-known graduates who came through their youth ranks.
Lawrence has quickly built himself a reputation playing as a centre-back, whereas the 18-year-old Craig has shown promise as a central midfielder. The latter had made the bench in the Europa Conference League match against Pacos de Ferreira way back in August.
Losing both of them would be concerning since we also have to take care of our interests in the long term. Strengthening the first team at this instant should not be our only priority, as future success could be brought to fruition with the academy’s help.
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It does not help how we treated Dilan Markanday, who was one of the brightest prospects in the U23 youth system. He could not earn chances with the first team despite tearing it up in the Premier League 2. That could have painted us in a wrong light among some of the talents in the academy.
It would not be too much of a reach to say that Craig could be moving to the Southampton academy for that reason. It would take a huge effort for us to retain him while also securing the signature of the Glebe ace in the future. Only time will tell whether we can pip the Saints on both fronts or not.
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