The New Boys

In Signing Order
with pen portraits courtesy of Spot51

Theo Walcott

  • Squad No: 32
  • Previous Club: Everton
  • Signed: July 1st 2021
  • Fee: Free transfer

Back when developing your own stars was still rocket science, Saints produced some great young talent that the Big Clubs came in for like hungry vultures. Saints fans learned that, if they are good enough, they are off.

One such was young Theo Walcott who Saints lifted from Swindon in 2000. He spent the next 5 years in our academy breaking all sorts of age records en route. He continued to break records as he began his first team career and was quickly taken away by Arsenal in 2006. He was selected for England’s 2006 WC squad and became the nation’s youngest player and scorer (and has played and scored at every international age level).

Theo spent 12 years at Arsenal playing 397 times and scoring 108 goals. He won 2 FA Cups, BBC Young Sports Personality and carried the 2008 Olympic torch. In 2018 he moved to Everton where he played 85 matches, scoring 11 times before moving back to the South Coast last summer.

In his loan season he played 22 games, scoring 3 times for Saints before eagerly accepting our offer of a contract when his Everton one expired. He has retained most of the pace that made him “one of my most difficult opponents” (L. Messi) but has clearly adopted a “father figure” role, helping our current youngsters make their way in the game.

Romain Perraud

  • Squad No: 15
  • Previous Club: Stade Brestois 29
  • Signed: July 22nd 2021
  • Fee: £10.80M

Romain Perraud was born in Toulouse in 1997 and played for a number of local clubs at youth level before moving to Nice in 2014. He joined their reserves in 2016 and made his first team debut that December in the Europa League. Unable to break into the 1st XI he spent the 2018/19 season in Ligue 2 with Paris FC.

Voted Ligue 2 Player of the Season, he clearly impressed Brest who were promoted at the end of that season and immediately signed him. Romain became a key figure for France’s most westerly club for the next 2 seasons before following Diallo’s move across La Manche.

He made his name as a left back but operates more like a wing-back contributing at both ends of the pitch. Romain has represented France at all youth levels and will be hoping his displays in England will keep him in the thoughts of Didier Deschamps.

Dynel Simeu

  • Squad No: 38
  • Previous Club: Chelsea
  • Signed: July 27th 2021
  • Fee: £1.58M

Nineteen-year-old Dynel Simeu was born in Cameroon before moving to Southampton as a child. He grew up playing in local leagues before being snapped up by Chelsea’s academy. England’s big clubs no longer wait for the likes of Saints to discover young talent: now they recruit young stars and retain stockpiles of potential. Sadly, most never make the grade with their clubs.

Belgium, Germany and Holland are the main beneficiaries as their leagues are where much of this talent begins playing 1st XI football. Indeed, both Manchester City and Chelsea have developed a profitable income stream from selling on home-grown talent. Tammy Abraham was recently sold for £35M without ever becoming a regular at Stamford Bridge. Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek are still there but, one wonders, how long can they make do with just cameo appearances?

Young Dynal had 6 good years at Chelsea, becoming a no-nonsense centre half, winning youth trophies, earning international call ups and recently captaining their U21s. Aware of the logjam between him and Thomas Tuchel’s side he declined the offer of a new contract in favour of “coming home” to Saints.

He signed for 3 years and was quickly upgraded to our first team squad. We were obliged to pay Chelsea a “development fee” of approx. £1.5M.

Tino Livramento

  • Squad No: 21
  • Previous Club: Chelsea
  • Signed: August 2nd 2021
  • Fee: £5.31M

Another Chelsea academy graduate, Tino was recruited at the age of 7. He was born in England (his father is of Portuguese descent) and the 18-year-old has played internationally at every youth level for the Three Lions – his first U21 cap coming this season v Kosovo. He has captained various Chelsea sides and England U17s.

He played right-wing-back with Chelsea and was their Academy Player of the Season in 20/21. He too didn’t fancy waiting in line for first team football so turned down a new contract at the Bridge. We’ve already seen he is a class act and Chelsea made sure they put a buy-back clause in his contract when he moved here. How good he can become can be guessed at from their willingness to pay us £40M (approx. £35M profit) to develop this young player.

Rather us than Dortmund or Leipzig!

Armando Broja

  • Squad No: 18
  • Previous Club: Chelsea
  • Signed: August 10th 2021
  • Fee: 12 Month Loan

The Albanian is our third recruit from Chelsea. He signed his first professional contract with them early last year and signed a 5-year extension this July. During that period he made a single 1st XI appearance as substitute before spending last season at Vitesse Arnhem on loan, scoring 10 times.

Born in Slough to Albanian parents, Armando spent 2 years at Spurs academy before moving to Chelsea’s. In 2019 he made 6 appearances for Albanian youth sides before earning full caps the following year. Since coming here he has played in his 7th and 8th Internationals, scoring in each.

Unlike Dynal and Tino, Armando Broja is not our player. He is here for a season’s loan but, should he continue to show the eye for goal we’ve seen so far, this young man will become a hot property in no time.

Adam Armstrong

  • Squad No: 9
  • Previous Club: Blackburn Rovers
  • Signed: August 10th 2021
  • Fee: £15.93M

The younger Armstrong has been on Saints’ radar for a while and we’ve tried to bring him in before now. Adam has scored for fun at Blackburn and, to force a move to the Prem, allowed his contract to enter its final year. Blackburn could not allow him to walk next summer so agreed a fee with us.

Born and bred a Geordie, Armstrong joined the Mags at the age of 9. He developed a knack for goal scoring at each level before making his debut in 2014. Unable to break into the Premier League side, Adam was loaned to Coventry for the 2015-16 season. In League 1 he hit the ground running, scoring 20 goals in 40 games and winning Cov’s Goal of the Season and a place in the League 1 Team of the Season.

Next season he was given a sterner test with Barnsley in the Championship. Despite only scoring 6 in 35 games, one of these was the Tykes’ Goal of the Season. Then followed 2 half-season loans: scoring 3 in 23 for Championship Bolton before dropping down a Division and helping Blackburn gain promotion with 9 in 21. Blackburn then signed him permanently and he scored 9, 17, then 29 in his 3 seasons at Ewood Park.

Adam has represented and scored for England at every youth level and is the proud owner of an U20 World Cup Winners medal. He will hope that appearing regularly in the Premier League may lead to senior caps.

Thierry Small

  • Squad No: 16
  • Previous Club: Everton
  • Signed: August 24th 2021
  • Fee:To be decided by tribunal

The next step in converting Staplewood from Kindergarten to Posh Finishing School came when Everton prodigy Thierry Small jumped ship and headed south. The left back’s Uncle, Bryan Small played for Villa, Bolton and Stoke in the 90s. Born in Solihull, Thierry signed for West Brom’s academy at a tender age before joining Everton at 11.

He progressed through the youth ranks at Everton developing as a full back with an eye for goal and plenty of assists. He studied videos of Paolo Maldini and Alfonso Davies at Bayern. Then, during his final season at Everton, he was coached by the recently retired Leighton Baines.

At the start of last season he was promoted to Everton’s U18 squad. He progressed so well that in Jan 21 he made his first team debut in the FA Cup (still 16 and Everton’s youngest ever player) and moved up to the U21 squad. His defending and ball carrying ability attracted Scouts from Manchester United, Arsenal, Villa, Juventus and Bayern but the young man had the dream of playing 1st XI football sooner rather than later.

Seeing no immediate opportunity of breaking into Everton’s EPL squad he declined the offer of a full professional contract. He underlined his intentions by returning late for pre-season. He chose Saints after seeing how quickly Tino (who he faced last season) played for Ralph. At 17, yet a member of England’s U19 squad, Thierry cannot wait to play in the Premier League - and Saints now have four very decent full-backs.


  • Squad No: 4
  • Previous Club: Torino
  • Signed: August 25th 2021
  • Fee: £6M

Unsurprisingly, Lyanco Evangelista Silveira Neves Vojnovic has dual nationality. His family left Yugoslavia in WW2, settling in Brazil. His mother’s side are of Portuguese descent. Born in Vittorio he joined Botafogo's youth teams at 14 but in 2014 signed as a professional with Sao Paulo. Midway through his 2nd season he moved to Torino for €6M.

He played 59 times in Serie A (including 13 on loan at Bologna). Whilst in Italy he won 4 U19 caps for Serbia but swiftly changed allegiance when Brazil came calling. He played 9 times for their U20s, scoring the winning penalty in the final of the 2019 Toulon Tournament. Since then he has made 11 appearances for Brazil U23, his final game being in Cairo last November.

A tough tackling but ball playing centre-half, Lyanco speaks 3 languages – but not yet English. He is fluent in Spanish and is therefore being chaperoned by Oriel Romeu as he settles in here. Romeu really rates him: that’s good enough for me.

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