Irish U19 international Will Smallbone is hoping his goalscoring debut in the FA Cup last weekend will lead to a Premier League debut in the near future.
The Irish midfielder scored a well-taken volley during Southampton's 2-0 win over Huddersfield and the teen has stated his desire to kick on in the second half of the season.
What a finish from Will Smallbone today also.
Irish youngsters on fire in the FA Cup. pic.twitter.com/AwBn9rF9Lt
— YBIG (@YouBoysInGreen) January 4, 2020
"It could be a good stepping stone," he told the club's website. "If you can do it in the FA Cup and make a good impression then the manager is going to be thinking about you for the Premier League when you need different players for different games."
Smallbone also revealed that fellow Irishman Michael Obafemi has been a big help at the club.
"When you’re in the Under-23s you’re always looking up, and Mikey [Obafemi] was the first from my age group to break through,” he said.
"To see him doing it gives you more incentive to do it as well, because it shows you that you can get a chance.
He is doing really well for himself and it does show that there is a pathway which is not necessarily there at other clubs. I sit next to Michael in the dressing room, so I speak to him quite a lot about breaking through, but he’s quite calm and collected about it.
It’s good to hear the different experiences that he has had. He broke through a while ago and then didn’t play for a while, but is now starting to get in and around it again. It’s good to have those people around to speak to and help you.