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Southampton braced for offers for Will Smallbone amid Luton, Bournemouth and Sunderland interest

Southampton academy graduate Will Smallbone spent last season on loan at Stoke City where he made over 40 appearances in all competitions under manager Alex Neil

Southampton are reportedly bracing themselves for offers for midfielder Will Smallbone.

The 23-year-old Saints academy graduate spent last season on loan at Stoke City, making more than 40 appearances for the Potters under manager Alex Neil.

He’s now set to play an important role in Southampton’s push for promotion back to the Premier League, with the Ireland international likely to feature heavily assuming both midfielders Romeo Lavia and James Ward-Prowse complete moves away from St Mary’s this summer.

 

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 25: Will Smallbone of Southampton during pre-season friendly match between Southampton FC and AFC Bournemouth at St Mary's Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

But according to the Daily Mail, Saints are also preparing to receive offers from Premier League clubs for Smallbone and are considering granting a sale.

The report names Luton, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth as top flight sides said to be monitoring the midfielder, while there is also said to be interest from Southampton’s Championship rivals Blackburn, Sunderland and Hull.

Smallbone himself has recently spoken of his excitement to get the season underway with Saints, having played a big part in pre-season under Russell Martin, starting the first three friendlies against Benfica, Goztepe and Reading before coming on for the second half during Tuesday night’s defeat to Bournemouth.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 25: Will Smallbone of Southampton during pre-season friendly match between Southampton FC and AFC Bournemouth at St Mary's Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

“Obviously everyone wants to play as much a part of pre-season as they can,” he said. “But I think getting through it with no injuries is the main thing and trying to implement our style of play.

“It’s a tough season and a tough league, with a lot of good teams. I’ve learned durability [at Stoke] and every game is different so I think I can bring a lot of experience into a bit of a novice team in terms of Championship experience.

“I’ve been here for a long time and I’ll be ready for whatever the season holds. I’m looking forward to it.”

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