June 22 (Reuters) - Southampton forward Nathan Redmond believes the south coast club’s efforts to promote youth academy players to the first team has provided a solid platform for future success at St Mary‘s.
Southampton lost several key players, including Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama and Jose Fonte, during the last two transfer windows but a steady stream of graduates chipped in to help secure a fourth consecutive top-10 finish.
Josh Sims, Sam McQueen, Harrison Reed and Jack Stephens, who were all promoted from the academy, impressed during their debut seasons and Redmond expects the tradition to continue.
“The club does give opportunity to players,” Redmond, who is currently on international duty with England at the European Under-21 Championship, told Sky Sports.
”Prowsey (James Ward-Prowse) has had a long run in the team and done well, Sam McQueen has come through, Matt Targett, Jack Stephens have come in and done really well.
“Then you have the senior players like Fraser (Forster), Charlie (Austin) and Ryan (Bertrand). There is a great bunch of English players and we are technically good players. It’s good for the future of the club.”
Southampton are yet to name a new manager after sacking Claude Puel at the end of his first season at the club and Redmond felt the Frenchman was unfairly criticised for regularly rotating the squad during the campaign.
“No player wants to not start, you dream of starting in the Premier League,” Redmond added.
“It gives you good options as a manager but at the same time as players you don’t really bicker because you see each other day in, day out and it’s not your fault. The team selection is down to the manager.” (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru)