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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Southampton sign Lech Poznan defender Jan Bednarek

Jan Bednarek in action for Poland's under-21s.

Southampton have signed central defender Jan Bednarek from Polish club Lech Poznan.

Poland under-21 international Bednarek has agreed a five-year contract and will link up with his new teammates when he returns from international duty at the European Under-21 Championship.

Bednarek, 21, helped Lech Poznan to a third-placed finish in Poland last season and told Southampton's official website he was "so happy" to have joined the club.

"This is the moment I have worked for that makes my dreams come...

 By Alex Crook

Southampton must take Fraser Forster and Jack Stephens out of the firing line

Claude Puel is one of the most-mild mannered managers in Premier League history but the Southampton boss needs to show his ruthless streak to keep alive the club's hopes of achieving a top eight finish.

For 45 minutes of Tuesday's 4-2 defeat at Chelsea, Puel's men looked like they could have the beating of champions-elect Chelsea. But for all their vibrant and creative attack play, the south coast side were undone by the type of shambolic defending that has become the hallmark of their season, especially...

England's "Next" XI: Will Demarai Gray, Tom Davies live up to the rising hype?

Young English talent has perhaps its best chance of breaking into and succeeding with the senior side for some time, given the identity of the current manager. Gareth Southgate was in charge of the U-21s side for three years, winning the Toulon Tournament last summer, and is perhaps uniquely positioned to see the potential of the young players coming through for contention in the senior side.

So who are the players who Southgate could call upon in the immediate future? Here are 11 of them:

EnglandNextXI
England have some raw but exciting depth that could get a chance in the 2022 World Cup cycle.

Jordan...

 By Alex Crook

Jack Stephens the latest Southampton star as Liverpool left stunned

Jack Stephens was superb as Southampton enjoyed a fine night, eliminating Liverpool from the EFL Cup.

It was Alan Hansen who once famously declared "You don't win anything with kids," before Manchester United's class of '92 went on to prove him wrong by securing the 1996 Premier League and FA Cup double.

If Hansen watched his beloved Liverpool being dumped out of the EFL Cup by Southampton on Wednesday night -- robbing Jurgen Klopp of the chance to win his first trophy in English football -- his words would have come back to haunt him again.

For Southampton's 1-0 victory, securing a 2-0 aggregate...

 By PA Sport

Jack Stephens may spell Virgil van Dijk for Southampton in cup clash

Southampton boss Claude Puel is confident youngster Jack Stephens can fill in for Virgil van Dijk if the Dutchman is unable to shake off an ankle injury ahead of their EFL semifinal second leg against Liverpool.

The England Under-21 international replaced Van Dijk during the second half of their 3-0 victory over Leicester on Sunday which was only the centre-back's sixth appearance for the Saints in all competitions.

Puel's side face the daunting task of travelling to Merseyside on Wednesday as they...

 By Alex Crook

Long's late goal sees stagnant Southampton past Norwich

Southampton were uninspiring and left it late but grabbed a late winner to advance to the FA Cup fourth round.

Shane Long scored a dramatic stoppage time winner to lead Southampton to a 1-0 FA Cup third round replay win at home against Championship side Norwich.

Long's scrappy 92nd minute effort set up a fourth round clash at home to Arsenal -- but the laboured performance did little to restore the fans' faith in under-pressure manager Claude Puel.

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Norwich CityNorwich City
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Positives

Southampton had no fewer than six home-grown players in their starting line-up, suggesting the future remains bright on the south coast.

Maya...