Teenage left back Luke Shaw is on standby to make a dream Premier League debut at Arsenal on Saturday.
The 17-year-old could be handed his first Saints league start at the Emirates with Danny Fox struggling to recover from a groin injury.
Scotland left back Fox has been resting the injury during the latest international break and has had an injection to try and rectify the problem in time for the weekend.
However, there are no guarantees he will be ready to face the Gunners and so Shaw is being prepared to step into the breach.
It would certainly be a baptism of fire for the youngster, who could come up against fellow former Saints academy colleagues Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in North London.
Shaw, who has long been tracked by a number of Premier League clubs and consistently linked with a move to Arsenal since he was 14, has only been brought into the first team squad this season.
He is very highly thought of at Saints but to throw him in for such a big game would be a major test for the youngster.
Shaw made a first start for Saints this season in the Capital One Cup win at Stevenage.
He only has one other senior appearance to his name, that a 13 minutes substitute appearance as Saints drew 1-1 with Millwall in the FA Cup in January.
Saints boss Nigel Adkins was looking to add to the left back department at the club in the summer, having allowed Dan Harding to move to Nottingham Forest.
However, a deal for Alexander Buttner collapsed, Martin Olsson wasn’t snared from Blackburn and nobody else was secured in that position.Saints do still have another experienced senior left back in
the shape of Ryan Dickson .
He is part of the official squad list that Saints have submitted to the Premier League but could not be left out as all eligible players have to be registered unless you have more than the 25 man
However, Dickson has not been handed a squad number for this season which shows just how far down the pecking order he has slipped.
The last time Dickson figured for Saints was back in September 2011.