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Southampton failed to improve on their league position from the 2015/16 season but Claude Puel did enough to keep the team in the top half of the table, for the second season running. He was, however, replaced by Mauricio Pellegrino, who is now getting some deals done at the St Marys.
One of the first deals for the new manager for Southampton was letting go of young Harrison Reed on loan to Norwich City. The Canaries have now announced that the 22-year old will play in the Championship on loan next season, to try and gain some experience.
Born and brought up in Worthing, England, Reed is a product of the youth academy of Southampton, where he joined as a kid and grew through ranks to make it to the senior side. He made his debut in the Premier League back in 2013 and has since made 17 league appearances for the English side.
He has also played 13 games for the English U-20 side and is a star in the making. However, he managed just 11 appearances for the senior side at the St. Mary’s last season and Pellegrino does not see him in his plans next season.
A central midfielder with intelligent ability to read the game, Reed is a smart player who can make crunching tackles to win the ball back in dangerous areas. A decent passer with decent dribbling skills, Reed is not a great creator of chances in the final third but his ability to sit back and defend when needed and control the game in attack when called upon is what that makes him a genuine star.
Jeremy Pied, Jordy Clasie, Emile Hojbjerg, and James Ward-Prowse are all options in this role for Pellegrino next season, who might also look to add another holding midfielder to the first team this summer. This will push Reed further down the pecking order at the St. Mary’s, making his move to Norwich that much more sensible.
At just 22, he has all it takes to be a superstar at the highest level in England and Southampton will not want to lose him on a permanent basis yet. But he is not ready for regular first team action, making a loan deal the right decision for all the three parties involved.
Playing in the Championship, with little expectations, might allow Reed to learn plenty next season and in just a year from now, he could be Southampton’s first choice midfielder, destined for glory.