Ireland underage star Will Smallbone signs new four-year Southampton deal

The deal would bring the 20-year-old's time at the club to 16 years by the summer of 2024.
Ireland underage star Will Smallbone signs new four-year Southampton deal
Southampton's Will Smallbone celebrates scoring a debut goal in the FA Cup against Huddersfield at St Mary's.
Southampton's Will Smallbone celebrates scoring a debut goal in the FA Cup against Huddersfield at St Mary's.

Republic of Ireland underage international Will Smallbone has signed a new four-year contract with Southampton.

The deal would bring the 20-year-old midfielder's time at the club to 16 years by the summer of 2024.

The English-born academy graduate has been with Southampton since the age of eight, breaking into Ralph Hasenhüttl's side with a debut goal in the FA Cup against Huddersfield last January.

He started two of the Saints' final three games before the season was suspended, a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa and a 3-1 loss to West Ham.

“Will is a young man who is part of the future of this football club,” said Hasenhüttl, who also signed a four-year contract extension last week.

“He has made some big steps this season, and he is someone who has a lot of potential to continue to grow as a player. This is the right place for him to continue to do this.

“He has shown in our training sessions and under pressure in matches that he can play, and he is also someone who understands our philosophy as a team and a club.

“He knows where and how he needs to improve his game, and I think that, together, we can develop him a lot in these next few years.”

Ireland striker Shane Long agreed a new two-year deal with the club last week, while Michael Obafemi is also contracted until 2022.

“I’m very happy,” said Smallbone. “I’ve been at the club for a long time now, so to commit my long-term future, for another four years, is very special for me.

“To see the manager sign a new contract was big for me too. He’s given me a chance this season to, firstly, be in and around training with the squad and then actually give me my chance in the games to play and show what I could do, so that’s a big factor in me committing as well.”

Smallbone has played five times for Ireland U19s, scoring twice.

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