CHERRIES are running the rule over midfielder Paulin Puel – the son of Southampton boss Claude.

The 19-year-old started for Stephen Purches's under-21s in this afternoon's 3-1 friendly defeat to visitors QPR.

Puel, who came through the youth ranks at Nice, is training with Cherries this week and showed some neat touches at Canford.

Capped by France under-19s on two occasions, Puel has not played for Nice's first team since dad Claude departed for St Mary's last summer.

Earlier this month, he trialled with Belgian side Zulte Waregem.

The teenager made 13 appearances for Nice during the 2015-16 season when his father was in charge, 11 of which were in Ligue One.

Prior to that campaign, he had made three outings across two seasons for the Allianz Riviera side, including his debut against Monaco as a 16-year-old.

As a youth player, Puel spent time at Lille and Lyon, spells which coincided with his father being first-team manager at those clubs.

Southend midfielder Jack Bridge, who has also been training with Cherries, started against QPR.

The hosts trailed 2-0 early in the second period with Mikael Ndjoli and Sam Surridge missing a penalty apiece at the start of each half.

Osman Kakay opened the scoring just before the break and the lead was doubled six minutes into the second period.

Surridge pulled one back but QPR grabbed another to seal victory.

Youngster Puel's father guided Southampton into the EFL Cup final last night following a 1-0 second-leg win over Liverpool.