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The Nigerian duo of Michael Obafemi and Jonathan Afolabi alongside 11 others who signed scholarship terms with English Premeirship side Southampton have been assured that their progress will be closely monitored by first team coach Claude Puel.

Southampton are well known for bringing through young players with the likes of Real Madrid star Gareth Bale and Arsenal’s trio of Theo Walcott,Calum Chambers and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain passing through the club’s prestigious academy.

Academy manager Matt Hale speaking after the club announced the signing of the teens said like those in the years above them, they will have every chance to make it as first team players at Southampton during Puel’s time at the club.

“Certainly having met the new management team they will look very much to the academy and for us to produce those players good enough to play in that first team” Hale told the club official website.

“They’ve got an opportunity, if they do well, in the early part of this season to join with the Under-21s and really kick on with their career right from the start, so we’re looking forward to that”

*Rasheed Nichael