Southampton Football Club is pleased to announce that 17-year-old defender Allan Tchaptchet has signed his first professional contract.
The centre-back has been a regular presence in the Under-18s team this season, producing a string of commanding performances for the youngsters, while he has also been involved with the Under-23 set-up on occasions already.
The young Frenchman has also already enjoyed a taste of first-team training under the eye of First Team Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Tchaptchet’s displays have been evidence of the strides he has made in his development since joining Saints in the summer from Sannois Saint-Gratien, having previously been at Auxerre, after being tracked extensively by the club’s scouting network and attracting the attention of clubs across Europe before deciding to join Southampton.
allan tchaptchetthis is my dream. today is a great day for me.
on signing his first pro deal
Committing his future until June 2021, the young Frenchman spoke of how special a day it was for him to put pen to paper.
"I am very happy, this is my dream,” he said. “I started football for that, and today is a great day for me.
"I did not think this was possible, because football is really hard, but now I have signed my first contract and I am very, very happy.”
Tchaptchet also thanked the coaches he has worked with during his time at the club, not just for helping him develop on the pitch but off it as well.
“England is different to France – the football is very attacking and physical, but now I love that,” he said.
"Every coach has improved me here – on the pitch, off the pitch in life, for everything.”
Tchaptchet has also been buoyed by the faith that new manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has put in the Academy.
"It is a very good opportunity, because the new manager likes young players,” he said. “For me, in my head, I know I have opportunity here.
“Yan [Valery] last year played with the Under-23s, now he's playing with the first-team against Man United and Arsenal – it is good.
"I am very confident in me and my potential. I know my level. I know I do everything for my team to win the game, and for my family.
"I want to improve everything and work hard every day – be a professional all the time, that is the key.”