It’s no secret that Southampton’s record of producing talent through the youth academy is one of the best in the Premier League.
From Gareth Bale to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to James Ward-Prowse, the Saints academy has produced a plethora of names who have all gone on to make a name for themselves in football, and Alfie Jones could be the next player to come through the famed system.
The 21-year-old youngster has impressed this season for Gillingham, the club the defender is currently plying his trade at this year on loan, with Jones so far playing every minute of League One football for the Kent-based side as numbers from Transfermarkt show.
Yet, it is his heroics over the previous weekend that has supporters talking as the youngster, who is naturally a centre-back but is currently being utilised as a defensive midfielder as positional stats from Transfermarkt show, as Jones scored the second of the day for the Gills in a 2-2 draw against Tranmere Rovers.
Indeed, his performance was enough to see the defensive-minded player claim a spot in WhoScored’s League One Team of the Week with Jones earning an 8.0 out of 10, the highest out of any midfielder in the XI.
But it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the youngster in recent years.
Having joined St. Mirren last season on an initial season-long loan, Jones was recalled in the New Year by then-newly appointed manager Ralph Hasenhuttl in an attempt to impress the new boss at Southampton. However, as numbers from Transfermarkt show, the defender never played a minute of first-team football for the Saints.
Yet Jones is making up for lost time well with Gillingham.
This latest accolade from WhoScored shows that the youngster is impressing with his new club, and that if he continues to improve with the League One side then there is a chance that Jones could follow the likes of Bale and Oxlade-Chamberlain and become a star for Southampton to emerge from the academy.