mkdons.com takes a look at the career so far of new signing Sam Gallagher...
The striker scored a hat-trick on his debut for Saints’ Under-16s and his form at Academy level saw him earn two Premier League Elite Group appearances for the Under-21s during the 2012/13 campaign.
In November 2013, Gallagher made his first-team debut as a substitute in Southampton’s Capital One Cup tie against Sunderland, before being handed his first Premier League appearance in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United a month later.
As well as featuring in the first-team squad on a number of occasions, Gallagher continued to feature for the Under-18s and Under-21s during the second half of 2013 and he netted a hat-trick for the former in an FA Youth Cup tie against local rivals Portsmouth.
It was during an FA Cup Proper tie where Gallagher scored his first senior goal – a 70th minute strike against Yeovil Town in late January. A few days after that game, he made his full senior debut for Southampton in a Premier League clash with then-leaders Arsenal, coming close to scoring on a number of occasions.
He didn’t have to wait too long for his first goal in the top flight, however, as he found the net in the Saints’ 4-2 win over Norwich City in March 2014.
Also that month, Gallagher earned his first call-up to the England Under-19s, having switched allegiances from Scotland, whom he featured for three times at the same age level.
His international debut in a friendly against Turkey, helping the Young Lions secure a 3-0 victory after coming on as a substitute. Later, in May, Gallagher collected two more caps in European Championship qualifiers against Montenegro and Ukraine.
Gallagher was rewarded for his promising 2013/14 season, in which he also scored three times in 10 games for the Under-21s, by the offer of a long-term contract extension by the Saints that summer.
After a promising pre-season ahead of the 2014/15 campaign, Gallagher suffered a serious injury that ruled him out until 2015 but he returned to action in the New Year to make a number of stand-out displays for the Under-21s.
He scored a memorable goal in Southampton’s Premier League Cup final victory over Blackburn Rovers.