Southampton have signed teenage left-back Thierry Small from Everton on a free transfer.
Small joins the Saints on a three-year contract until June 2024 and will join Ralph Hasenhuttl’s senior squad immediately, adding versatility in the left-back position as well central defence and left-wing positions.
Speaking on his decision to make the switch from Goodison Park to St Mary’s Stadium, Small said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling. A big moment for me and my family, especially to join such a family-orientated club. It’s an honour to be here and I can’t wait to get started.”
The 17 year-old went on to state that the chance to play under Hasenhuttl at Southampton is “a real great honour” and iterated that he is “grateful” to get this opportunity.
Small also described everyone who he met when visiting Southampton as “so friendly and so nice” in “a great city”, iterating that he feels that “this is the best place for me to develop as a player and reach new levels to my game.”
Hasenhuttl added that he is “very pleased” to have secured Small after fending off competition from rival Premier League clubs for his signature.
The Austrian went on to add: ““I think our philosophy of how we develop these young players and give them their opportunities has been an important factor in this, and we are looking forward to working with Thierry and helping him make the most of his potential.”
On what impact Small’s arrival will have on remaining transfer plans this summer, Hasenhuttl was quiet but iterated that securing Small now means that there is “a very good balance and a strong additional option in that position, and this is encouraging that we now have this on both sides of our defence.”
Small was Everton’s youngest ever senior player in history after being utilised as a late substitute in the Toffees’ Fourth Round victory over Sheffield Wednesday in last season’s FA Cup, coming on from the bench aged just 16 years and 176 days old.