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Southampton allow Will Smallbone to go on loan next season, with Nottingham Forest linked with a move

SOUTHAMPTON have given Will Smallbone the green light to go on loan this summer.

The 22-year-old midfielder has struggled for game time since returning from a cruciate ligament rupture he sustained in 2020 and is desperate for consistent gameplay.

Will Smallbone could leave Southampton on loan this summer

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Will Smallbone could leave Southampton on loan this summerPhoto credit: Getty

Smallbone made just four Premier League appearances under Ralph Hasenhuttl after recovering from injury this season.

The Saints coach rates the academy graduate but there are more experienced players in front of him in central midfield – meaning Smallbone’s chances are often out of position.

That is why Southampton have told the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international that they are happy he is staying on loan for a year before returning to fight for a place in the starting XI.

Play-off winners Nottingham Forest have been linked with a move but are unlikely to end up at the City Ground.

Talks have been held with a number of clubs in both the Premier League and Championship, although a move abroad has not been ruled out.

Clubs in Germany and Belgium are planned.

Southampton may have to go back on their word and allow Smallbone to leave if captain James Ward-Prowse, a target for West Ham, is sold.

However, the Saints are adamant the England international is going nowhere and are focused on bolstering their squad after a disappointing end to the season.

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Manchester City youngster Liam Delap – son of former Saint, Rory Delap – is a target while they are also on the hunt for a goalkeeper.

Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks is also admired at St Mary’s despite facing competition for the 26-year-old.

The former England international is valued at £20m by Spurs and is also attracting the attention of Sevilla.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5474629/southampton-smallbone-loan-transfer-nottingham-forest/ Southampton allow Will Smallbone to go on loan next season, with Nottingham Forest linked with a move

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