Southampton’s famed academy turns to B team to replace U23s as club which developed Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana switches to European model
- Southampton are restructuring their academy which has produced greats
- Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana have all come through
- Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier also learned their trade at the Saints
- But they will now have a senior B team which will play in Premier League 2
Southampton are set to approve a restructuring of their famed academy by replacing their Under 23 side with a senior B team.
The Saints academy has helped develop Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana and Theo Walcott, and before that the club produced legends Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier.
The model of having a senior B team has been used successfully in Europe by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
The Southampton academy which produced Gareth Bale (pic) is changing its structure
The Saints, who also developed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, will remodel into a B team
If the switch is agreed, as is likely, the training for the B team will mirror the schedule of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first team at the club’s Staplewood headquarters.
Where possible, the B team will play their matches on different days to the senior side to allow Hasenhuttl to watch their games – the club will continue to play in Premier League 2.
It is hoped that by Hasenhuttl keeping an eye on B-team matches, it will help facilitate the promotion of players into the first-team set-up.
It is understood the academy players have been informed of the club’s planned structural revamp.
Southampton have a rich tradition of producing British talent and that prowess has proved hugely lucrative for the club in terms of income from player sales in the transfer market.
Southampton also produced Adam Lallana, who won the Premier League with Liverpool
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