Small was part of the Toffees’ academy set-up for five years and made his senior team debut in January under then boss Carlo Ancelotti in an FA Cup clash.


The 17-year-old was highly rated at Everton and was offered a new deal, but he decided to leave Goodison Park and joined Southampton this summer, putting pen-to-paper on a three-year contract.



Everton Under-23s boss Unsworth has admitted nobody at the club expected Small to leave, especially when he had a lucrative offer on the table from them.


Unsworth stressed that Everton did everything they can to keep hold of the starlet, but ultimately it was his decision to move on to pastures new.



“In fairness to the club, we did everything we possibly could [to keep him]”, Unsworth told the Liverpool Echo, while discussing Small’s exit.


“We made him an unbelievable offer; we didn’t want him to leave.



“We never envisaged it coming.


“Up until he actually did leave, we fought really hard to keep him.


“But when a player doesn’t want to be at your club, it’s very difficult to try and keep him.


“He’s got his way, and that’s usually the case these days.”


Small started his first game for Southampton’s Under-23 team in the Premier League 2 on Sunday and he will be looking to kick on with his development at his new club.