Why Southampton should move for Oliver Creed as one for the future
The Saints are joined by Premier League rivals West Ham and Crystal Palace in their pursuit of the 16-year-old centre-back while Championship sides Millwall and Brentford are also keeping close tabs on the starlet’s progress. (h/t TEAMtalk)
Woking are currently flying high in the Conference Premier after sealing promotion from the National League South Division last season and Oliver Creed is amongst those to have caught the eye at the Kingfield Stadium this term.
Besides the fact that he is a centre-back, not a lot is known about the youngster, given that he has only just made his breakthrough at the senior level and is currently plying his trade in non-league football.
However, his talent has been there for everybody to witness and the highly-rated defender has already been tipped by many to make a name for himself at the highest level in the years to come.
Creed is still very much in his formative years as a footballer but his serious potential hasn’t eluded the eyes of the clubs higher up the football pyramid, with so many Premier League and Championship clubs willing to play a gamble on him.
Regardless of the level at which he is currently performing, enjoying a senior breakthrough at the tender age of 16 is no mean feat for any youngster and early signs suggest the Creed has all that it takes to evolve into a successful professional at the highest level.
The non-league arena in England has blooded several quality players in recent times, including the likes of Che Adams and Joe Lolley, while Jamie Vardy’s success story from a non-league rookie to a Premier League icon continues to be a living example of an inspirational success story for all footballers.
To put things into perspective, Oliver Creed could be an ideal long-term investment for all the aforementioned clubs but Southampton should look to fend off interest from elsewhere in a bid to bring the talented youngster to the English south coast.
The Saints pride themselves in recruiting unknown talents with raw materials and then refining them into top-quality professionals and, with Ralph Hasenhuttl putting a lot of emphasis on youth development, someone like Creed could be a fantastic addition to the existing pool of youngsters at the club.
Even if a move does materialize, Creed would probably initially link up with the U-18s and then it will be up to him to progress through to the U-23 side before staking a claim for a senior role.
The process of transition from the youth level to the senior ranks is not quite so straightforward in the Premier League and the 16-year-old will face stiff competition from U-18 stars Sam Bailey, Ryan Cluett and Enzo Robise.
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However, given his talent and potential, the Saints should look at him as a future first-team material and they might as well have a gem on their hands in the years to come if Oliver Creed goes on to fulfil his promise.
All in all, Southampton completing a swoop for the emerging non-league prospect would be a step in the right direction and one that clearly underpins their long-term plans moving forward.