Southampton are alongside Manchester City and Arsenal in the race for Waterford starlet Romeo Akachukwu, as per the Irish Independent.
Southampton are well-renowned for their development of young players. Be it those who have come through the youth ranks or players they’ve recruited elsewhere, there’s a well-trodden path from the academy to the first-team for bright prospects.
The Saints aren’t letting their relegation to the Championship change their approach either. They’ve recruited some promising players like Thierry Rohart-Brown recently and now, it has emerged they’re in pursuit of Irish talent Akachukwu too.
The Irish Independent has reported that Southampton are among those keen on the Waterford star, but strong rival interest is emerging. Manchester City and Arsenal are both in the chase with a view to bringing him in at academy level.
Southampton have promised him a quick route to senior football and a bid from them is already on the table. It would be a record fee for a League of Ireland player and is yet to be turned down. League One side Fleetwood Town, who boast a close link to Waterford, are also admirers.
On the radar
At 17, Akachukwu has already made 26 first-team appearances for Waterford. He’s played in a range of roles, operating as an attacking midfielder, central midfielder, winger and striker, notching three goals in the process.
After making his breakthrough at such a young age, it isn’t a surprise to see interest from big clubs emerging. Southampton could be in for a fight in their efforts to bring him in, with Manchester City and Arsenal boasting illustrious academies at the very top of the game.
Southampton are always looking to add to their academy but if they are successful in signing Akachukwu, it might not be long before he’s on the senior stage.
The Saints sit 4th in the Championship table as it stands, one point behind Leeds United.