Harrison Reed has expressed his desire to continue playing on a weekly basis next season, after gaining his first taste of regular competitive football with Norwich City.
The 23-year-old joined the Canaries on a season-long loan last June and has featured for the club on 32 occasions – already surpassing the 30 appearances that he made for the Saints across four seasons.
Reed, who still remains a favourite amongst the Southampton fan base, has displayed great maturity in the heart of the Norwich midfield, showing his technical capabilities to dominate a game and his terrier-like work-rate that’s won the hearts of so many fans.
But while a number of Southampton supporters remain hopeful that he could return and fight for his place in the side again, it seems that Reed is fearful of falling back into the cycle of U23’s football.
“Being at Southampton and a Premier League club is great. But playing in the under-23s and not really coming up against men maybe halted my career a little bit,” Reed told the Eastern Daily Press.
“I don’t feel like I want to go back to sitting in the stands, training all week and then on a Saturday not being involved.
“That’s not something I want to do and I think if you asked many footballers, they would agree.
“So next season I’ll look to progress again, whether that be here or we’ll see what other opportunities arise.
“Coming to Norwich and playing week in week out, getting the game time I have done has really opened my eyes and I feel like I’ve progressed.”
It’s clear that Reed’s enjoyed his time working under Daniel Falke, and is it any wonder when for the first time in his professional career, he’s had the joy of playing a key role in the weekend’s results.
Having witnessed his debut under Mauricio Pochettino back in December 2013, it would be upsetting to wave goodbye to the tenacious midfielder this coming summer. Especially when you consider the initial promise that he showed for the club.
But given that he’s 23-years-old and that Southampton currently boasts a plethora of midfield options, it’s imperative that his next career decision is made solely with his own development in mind.