Southampton believe they have the next 'Beckham generation' in their current academy.

Saints head of football development Les Reed rates their youth team in the Manchester United class.

"We believe we have the equivalent of Manchester United's Scholes, Beckham and Co already within our system," he told the Mail on Sunday.

Southampton's 'golden' generation of 16- and 17-year-olds includes James Ward-Prowse, a creative midfielder who made his first-team debut last month, and Luke Shaw, an England Under-17 attacking full back.

Then there are striker Jake Sinclair and Harrison Reed, known as Saints' 'young Scholes' for more reasons than his red hair.

Harrison's father, Dave, says: "Saints have academy coaches who have worked with Scholes and they make comparisons with Harrison's discipline and dedication and his tenacity in that central midfield role. They've got high hopes for him.

"He's been at Saints since he was eight. He effectively left home for the club at 15 and lived with a family nearby. That was a wrench for us but it's a fantastic club and his all-round education has been brilliant."