SAINTS have added Sam Bellis and Marco Rus to their youth ranks.

The duo have been handed Academy Scholarships and will join up with Paul Hardyman’s Under-18s.

These signings come just a week after the St Mary’s side added highly-rated Ramello Mitchell to their academy.

Bellis could prove quite the capture for Saints, having joined from boyhood club Manchester City.

The youngster plays as a striker but can also feature on the wings.

Rus, on the other hand, signed from Yeovil Town and is an attacking midfielder.

And speaking to the Southampton FC website, Bellis revealed he joined because of the club’s commitment to youth.

He said: “It’s a lovely place, it seems like a nice family club and I’m pleased to be here,” Bellis commented.

“From the first time I came down to Southampton to have a look I liked it instantly. The tradition of the club is attractive to young players like me. 

“They bring through great players. It’s a new environment full of new people. Every young player needs a chance and I don’t think many other clubs recognise that.”

Both players will be competing for a spot in Hardyman’s U18s Premier League side.

Daily Echo: Marco Rus (Photo: Southampton FC/James Bridle)Marco Rus (Photo: Southampton FC/James Bridle)

Rus said: "It's overwhelming to be here. As soon as I visited Southampton I was amazed. 

“I'm very excited. I was away with Romania on international duty when I first heard of interest from Southampton. 

“My family are all very proud and being here is the first step towards achieving my dream of becoming a professional footballer.”

Academy director Matt Hale added that he is thrilled to have the duo on board at Saints.

Hale said: “Sam is an exciting forward player with good movement and strong potential. We were competing with many top clubs for his signature and we are delighted he chose us.

“Marco, having been at Yeovil, has a real hunger and desire to succeed. He is a clever, tricky player who will offer creativity to the Under-18s group.”