SA teen inches closer to Premier League debut

Premiership

A highly-rated South African teen has inched closer to making his Premier League debut.

Kgaogelo Chauke appears to be nearing his Premier League debut after appearing on the substitutes' bench for Southampton for the first time this season during the club's 4-1 win over Brentford on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old, who remains eligible to represent South Africa despite being an England youth international, ultimately did not make it onto the pitch but looks likely to break through after being promoted for each of the club's last two matches.

Chauke signed his first professional contract with the Saints in January 2020 and made his competitive debut for the club in a 2-0 FA Cup victory over minnows Shrewsbury Town just a year later.

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That remains his only senior appearance for Southampton but he has featured on the bench on 13 occasions in total, including Tuesday's encounter and during the 3-2 win over Swansea in the FA Cup over the weekend.

"We need every player this season, every player is important for us," club manager Ralph Hasenhüttl said in his post-match press conference on Sunday, per the Daily Echo. "Especially now, in this COVID situation we are in, we need every player."

While the prospect of Chauke making his Premier League appears to be ever-improving, his long-term future at the club remains in doubt after he entered the final six months of his contract earlier this month.

He was previously linked with a move to domestic rivals Manchester City, Belgian giants Anderlecht, and Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach, all of who were credited with an interest in his services towards the end of last year.

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