An update has emerged regarding Southampton’s interest in Everton defender Thierry Small.
According to Hampshire Live, the Saints are looking to sign the full-back from the Goodison Park outfit and are expected to pay £5m in compensation if they get it over the line.
It was reported last month that Small’s representatives were struggling to agree on a new contract with the Toffees, having been offered a first professional deal.
Marcel Brands must avoid an Everton howler regarding the 17-year-old. The Toffees faithful would surely be livid if the club allows one of their best young prospects to move to a Premier League rival, even in spite of the sizeable £5m in compensation.
He was handed his senior Everton debut at the age of 16 in the FA Cup last season, illustrating how much faith those behind the scenes have in him on Merseyside. The youngster also played 27 games for the under-18s and under-23s for the Toffees, scoring six goals and providing one assist from left-back.
Former Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti professed his admiration for Small’s talent earlier this year, stating that he has the quality to play in the first-team despite his age.
The Italian said: “Thierry did well. He is really, really young. He is like a kid, he is only 16 years old, but he has quality and physicality to play with the first team. He is one of our best players in the academy, so I was pleased to bring him to train with us. I think for what he is doing it was good for him, too.”
This shows how highly the current Real Madrid manager rates the 5 foot 8 beast, especially the comment on him being one of the best players in the youth setup, and that is why Everton fans would surely be furious to see him leave. The club should be doing everything in their power to ensure that Small puts pen to paper on a contract extension, as supporters could look back on this situation in a few years and be fuming with Brands and Rafa Benitez if the youngster ends up being a success at St. Mary’s.
Therefore, Brands needs to put an attractive contract on the table for Small. They should at the very least be attempting to match what Southampton are willing to offer him in order to retain one of their best young players. Hopefully he will commit his future to the Toffees and make strides in the first team for Benitez over the next few seasons.