Southampton have built up an impressive reputation for bringing through academy products and making them a success in the game.
The likes of Luke Shaw, Theo Walcott, Alan Shearer, Matt Le Tissier, Adam Lallana and Gareth Bale all came through the Saints academy, along with current first-team captain James Ward-Prowse.
Some academy players showed signs of promise at Southampton before moving on to other clubs, however, with Fulham defensive midfielder Harrison Reed being one of them.
Reed came through the youth set-up at Southampton and made his debut as a teenager in the 2013/14 campaign, going on to make 30 first-team appearances for the club. After making just three Premier League outings in the 2016/17 season, he was sent out on loan to Norwich, Blackburn and Fulham in consecutive seasons.
At the end of his loan spell with Fulham, upon which he achieved promotion to the top-flight, the Cottagers signed him on a permanent deal from the Saints. At the time of the sale, Transfermarkt valued Reed at just £2.16m.
However, since signing for The Cottagers on a permanent deal, his value has soared exponentially. After 31 appearances in the Premier League last term and three in the Championship this season, Reed is currently valued at a whopping £9m. This is a 317% increase from the time of his Southampton departure.
He is now valued at a higher price than Oriol Romeu and Stuart Armstrong in terms of current Southampton midfielders, as well as Will Smallbone, but falling just behind Ibrahima Diallo’s £13.5m and James Ward-Prowse’s £27m.
This suggests that it was a disaster of a decision from Martin Semmens to cash in on Reed when he did. The defensive midfielder’s price is rising and Southampton may have been better off keeping him around.
Romeu turns 30 this week, which suggests that the time could be coming for a natural successor to take his place as the anchor of Southampton’s midfield and Reed could have been that player.
Reed was not given a chance to show what he could do in a competitive environment under Ralph Hasenhuttl and is now showcasing his quality and value for Fulham week-in-week-out. It will be interesting to see whether or not any other Premier League clubs decide to take a gamble on him if the second-tier side fails to get back up to the top-flight this season.