Sources: Southampton terminate Thierry Small deal today
Southampton have terminated Thierry Small’s loan deal with Port Vale on Thursday, sources have told Football Insider.
The defender, 18, is heading back to his parent club after signing for the League One outfit during the summer on a season-long loan.
Southampton have activated a recall clause in Small’s deal after the move turned sour.
The £5million signing from Everton has struggled for game time at the third-tier club, who already had two left-backs, his preferred position, when he signed.
The versatile teenager even played up front in the wins at Shrewsbury and Newcastle Town.
He also started in the League Cup defeat at home to Rotherham but his opportunities in the league have been limited to four appearances off the bench and just 94 minutes in total.
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Small’s loan contract enabled him to play for Southampton Under-21s if he was not involved in Port Vale’s matchday squad.
He turned out for the Saints in Premier League 2 in wins against Aston Villa and Newcastle United in October, playing 90 minutes at left-back in both games.
But he has continued to be overlooked by Port Vale and Southampton have decided to end the loan deal.
However, it is likely that Small will not be available to play for the Saints’ senior side, now managed by Nathan Jones following his appointment on Thursday, until January.
The England under-19 international was born in Solihull and was a youth player at West Brom before moving to Everton and becoming a regular for their Under-23s.
He became Everton’s youngest ever first team player, in January 2021, when he appeared in an FA Cup win against Sheffield Wednesday aged just 16 years and 176 days.
He joined Southampton on a three-year deal in August 2021.