Five players to watch as Celtic, Southampton and Marseille get ready to face South Shields

Which players could get the Mariners Park fans excited?
Which players could get the Mariners Park fans excited?

It's not every day that such big names come to South Shields.

The three top flight clubs will be heading to Mariners Park this summer as part of a pre-season tournament, which will see their under-23 sides pitted against South Shields.

READ: Full details on South Shields' pre-season tournament as Celtic, Southampton and Marseille come to town

The tournament will run from Friday, July 27 to Sunday, July 29, with Shields set to face the Saints' youngsters for a place in the final.

Clubs of such pedigree are sure to bring an abundance of talented youngsters with them to Mariners Park as their players look to catch the eye ahead of the new season.

But which players could stand out over the weekend?

From cultured midfielders to pacy wingers - and even someone who beat David Beckham's son to a contract - we've picked out five players to watch at the pre-season tournament:


A boyhood Celtic fan, this exciting winger has already made his first team debut for the club having featured against St Johnstone in May 2017.

He was handed a new three-year contract and has continued to impress at Parkhead, forming a key part of the club's Development Squad.

With explosive pace and an eye for goal, Johnston's dynamic style of attacking is sure to excite fans during the tournament.

The forward was recently part of the Scotland under-21 squad that took part in the Toulon Tournament, where he netted an impressive solo goal against England in the semi-finals (watch above).


The Algerian midfielder only joined Marseille in 2017 and has already caught they eye during his time at the club.

Formerly of Valenciennes, the 22-year-old is yet to make his first team bow at Stade Velodrome but has become a near ever-present in the French club's 'B' squad.

He netted eight times in 30 appearances from midfield last season as he put in a number of all-action displays in the midfield engine room.


Attacking midfielder Barnes could well form part of the Saints' squad set to take on Shields at the semi-final stage of the tournament.

The 21-year-old spent the end of last season on loan at League Two side Yeovil, where he made eight appearances for the Huish Park side.

And that lower league experience will likely stand Barnes in good stead as he looks to make his mark on the south coast this season.

A real driving force, expect Barnes to spearhead Saints' attacks while laying on plenty of chances for those around him.


Cultured centre back Deas is the Hoops' skipper and has been a consistent performer throughout Celtic's hit-and-miss campaign.

Deas has been on the Parkhead books since the age of 11 and has led by example at all age groups.

A former Scotland youth international, the 18-year-old will be keen to make an impression during this tournament as he looks to push towards the first team.

Tall and commanding, but also comfortable playing out from the back, Deas is undoubtedly one worth keeping an eye on.


Once regarded as a hot prospect at Arsenal, Tella made the move to Southampton in 2017 and has featured regularly for their under-23 side.

Indeed, while at Arsenal, he was picked ahead of David Beckham's son Brooklyn when scholarship decisions were made.

While the winger wasn't subsequently offered a professional deal at the Emirates, he is excelling at Southampton as he looks to fulfil the potential that once saw him so highly-rated.

With raw pace and a good end product, Tella is sure to get the Mariners Park faithful off their seats over the course of the weekend.