Southampton have moved to tie down midfielder Thomas OÂ’Connor on a two-and-a-half year professional contract at St Mary’s.
The highly-rated 17-year-old Irish starlet has just completed the first year of a two-year scholarship after joining the academy 12 months ago and has impressed with 18 appearances in the Under-18s team, while he was also promoted to the Under-21s for four games.
Therefore the Saints have moved swiftly to ensure he remains on their books by offering him a first professional contract.
O’Connor is ‘delighted’ to have put pen-to-paper on the deal and is now looking forward to progressing into the Under-21s on a regular basis next season.
He told Southampton’s website: “It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was three or four years of age so itÂ’s hard to believe that this day has finally come. I’m delighted.”
On his Under-21s target, O’Connor added: “It’s a big step up, but once you get to know the lads there as well in that group and start playing with the lads day-in, day-out you improve too, and itÂ’s always nice to make the step up.
“I just want to work hard in the off season, get fit in pre-season and hopefully make the step up into the Under-21s next year, that’s the aim.”