Southampton Football Club are well-known in England for having a great youth setup, consistently producing youngsters with potential to go far in world football.
But as we begin our FM saves, we really want to know how the current batch of Southampton youngsters will perform in our universe. Is there another James Ward-Prowse waiting in their Under 18’s?
This will be our second club in our series ‘The Academies’. We have already taken a look at arguably one of the most famous youth academies in world football, AFC Ajax. To read this series, follow the links below:
As you may have seen in our first mini-series in ‘The Academies’, the plan is to take a look at several top football academies and to see how their best youngsters progress in FM17. For Southampton, we are going to split the mini-series into two separate posts:
- The first post will look at each player and how they develop by 2026
- The second post will see how they have progressed by the time all players have retired
The Academies: Southampton | 2016-2026
Let’s first introduce the players we will be following throughout this series.
We have chosen seven of the better youth academy prospects at Southampton. All of these players are able to play for England and have come through the Soton youth system.
Of our players, who do you think will develop best in the real world? Comment your guesses!
Of our seven youngsters to follow throughout this series, incredibly four have already retired from football by the year 2026.
- Harry Hamblin and Dan N’Lundulu both retired by 2021
- Jake Vokins and Harlem Hale retired by 2026
Hamblin and N’Lundulu were both released at the end of their contracts (2018 and 2017 respectively) but were unable to find another club.
Jake Vokins and Harlem Hale remained with Southampton for a longer period of time but neither made any first team appearances for the PL club. Perhaps more importantly, neither player was sent out on loan, meaning both players had zero first team football in nearly five years with Southampton.
Vokins retired after he was released from Southampton in 2021 and Hale did the same in 2022.
Four players down, three remain.
Callum Slattery has developed into a good midfielder by 2026. A common theme with players in this series, he too did not make a single appearance for Southampton’s first team, instead spending two years on loan at Bradford and then Millwall.
In 2021 Slattery was released from Southampton and snapped up by Hibernian but he wasn’t able to make an impact in his first year, making just 5 league appearances.
The centre-midfielder joined Burnley in 2023 where he became an important first-team member. In three seasons so far he has made 107 league appearances. In his first year Burnley were relegated to the Championship.
Slattery did help Burnley return straight back to the PL in his second season but unfortunately they fell straight back to the second tier the following season.
Josh Sims is the only player in this series to have made a first team appearance for Southampton, coming off the bench in two league matches in 2020.
Josh went on loan to Millwall, Ipswich and Wigan before leaving Southampton in 2021. Brentford picked up the left sided winger on a free and in five seasons with the club he has become an integral part of their Premier League side.
He helped earn promotion to the PL in his first season with Brentford and they have solidified their status as a top tier side in the four seasons since.
Ben Rowthorn had three loan spells away from Southampton before leaving permanently in 2021. He spent time with Rotherham and Millwall (making 121 league appearances over three seasons) before moving to Aston Villa for £2.8M.
He spent just two seasons with Villa in which they suffered relegation from the Premier League and failed to bounce straight back. Rowthorn was then bought by Premier League side Watford.
He was relegated once more in his second year at Watford and was unable to help them return to the PL as they finished 8th in the most recent season.
The Southampton Academy: All Time Career Appearances (Goals)
- Josh Sims 331 (42)
- Ben Rowthorn 232 (5)
- Callum Slattery 226 (11)
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Thank you for reading our first part in the two-part mini-series with Southampton. It is sad to see 4/7 youngsters retire without making an impact in the game, but sadly this happens in real-life too.
If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to let me know in the comments! And tell me which academy you would like to see next in this series.