Southampton Starlet Leaves On Loan After ‘Summer-Long Chase’

Scottish Premiership club St Mirren have re-signed fullback Thierry Small on loan from Championship outfit Southampton for the rest of the season, the club have officially confirmed.

This will be the third loan spell of Small’s infant career, having joined the Saints from Premier League club Everton back in 2021 in rather controversial terms after the Toffees rejected Southampton’s offer of £1.5 million in compensation.

Small spent the first half of the 2022/23 campaign out on loan with Port Vale in League One but joined Scottish team St Mirren for the remainder of the campaign, having not received adequate minutes at Vale Park.

The young defender returned to the St. Mary’s Stadium this summer but has now been sent back out on loan to St Mirren who chased the teenager all summer, according to head coach Stephen Robinson.

Robinson admitted this during the official unveiling of the player on St Mirren’s club website:

“Thierry is someone we’ve chased all summer. We got glimpses of his potential last season: his pace, his energy and his quality. We’re hoping for more that again.

“We know him as a person. We know his strengths and weaknesses. He’s still a young kid and we aim to keep developing him, but certainly, I feel he’ll be a big asset for the squad.

Robinson also revealed that Small will bring much-needed competition for first-choice left-back Scott Tanser:

“We’ve only had one in at left-back and left wing-back which has meant moving others around and out of their best positions for cover.

“Scott Tanser has been excellent for me, but Thierry brings real competition in that area and he can also play in at right wing-back and can play further up the pitch. In a tight squad, Thierry gives me a multitude of options.”

Small is on the bench for St Mirren today as the Buddies are down 1-0 at home against Aberdeen as of writing and could be set to make his second debut for the club.

Writer’s View

This is a good move for Small in an environment he is familiar with. Given Robinson’s pursuit of the youngster all summer, it is likely that Small will become St Mirren’s first-choice wingback on the left side.

Hopefully, the England U18s international will come back an even better player at the end of the campaign and could finally start getting some minutes with Southampton.

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