Southampton starlet Nico Lawrence can 'physically boss' players - Youth football expert

We’re delighted to welcome the founder of Kinetic Academy Harry Hudson as our exclusive columnist. Each week the youth football expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on wonderkids across the UK…

Southampton have always been a club which has developed players through their academy and things are not changing anytime soon.

On 11 February, they announced the signing of teenage defender Nico Lawrence from the Kinetic Academy after he spent some time playing for Glebe FC in non-league football.

The Glebe manager at the time was Harry Hudson who also founded the Kinetic Academy in 2011 and has given opportunities to many professional players currently in the game.

The Saints’ most recent signing, Joe Aribo, is also a graduate of the system and in Lawrence, Hudson (now Sevenoaks manager) believes that they have a player with bags of potential to call upon.

“Nico only got signed last year as an Under-19,” Hudson told The Football Wonderkids. “He’s really composed on the ball and can play off both feet really well.

“We converted him from a central midfielder to a centre-half about a year ago so he is very comfortable on the ball and when he played in non-league under myself, he really found his tenacity.

“He grew and he developed and he started to physically boss people so we’ve got really high hopes for Nico and if he can match that intensity level from when he first signed then we think he’s got a very high ceiling.”

His contract with the club runs until the end of the 2022-23 season where he will have hoped to impress enough to earn himself an extended deal and perhaps some senior football in the not too distant future.

In other Southampton news, Hudson also weighed in on Aribo’s arrival on the South Coast and thinks he could fit Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans perfectly.