Ross Wilson has praised the work of Southampton’s unsung heroes for their part in the signing of promising youngster Alexandre Jankewitz.
Swiss midfielder Jankewitz, 16, has joined the club from Servette in his homeland, having chosen Southampton over numerous high-profile suitors.
Director of Football Operations Wilson believes the staff, facilities and opportunity on offer at Staplewood Campus played a major role in Jankewitz committing his future to Saints.
“There was huge competition for Alex,” he revealed.
“He made it clear to us really early in the process that he saw Southampton as a strong option for him, and ultimately the preferred option against some big clubs we’ve gone head to head with, so we’re delighted he’s chosen to come here.
“It’s a culmination of the work of the scouts, the coaches, the sports science staff, the medical staff – everybody works together here to bring young players like Alex to this club, making sure that when the players come and visit, they’re hugely impressed by everything on offer.
“We’ve got magnificent staff right across the board off the pitch who help these young players do well. Hopefully, Alex seeing all that was part of his decision to join us.”
Wilson reaffirmed Saints’ commitment to home-grown talent, but says the club will continue to monitor those on the continent with the potential to become senior internationals.
“First and foremost, the Academy here is about young English and British players – that will always be the starting point for us, but we want to supplement that with some really exciting players from Europe if we can,” he added.
“When you look at the make-up of our first-team squad now, we’ve got nationalities from all over Europe and some really strong home-grown players as well.
“All of those players will either be international players, or players who would hope to break into the international fold for their own countries.
“Alex is 16, so he’s got a long way to go, but the pathway is towards the first team, which is the same for all our players across the Academy.
“It’s the famous Matt Le Tissier quote that we’ve got on the walls in the Academy here: ‘one of the great things about this club is that if you’re good enough, your chance will come – no matter what age you are.’”