Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Saints have to strengthen to stay competitive next season

Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren has become the latest player to leave Southampton this summer, as he has joined Liverpool in a £20million deal

Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren has become the latest player to leave Southampton this summer, as he has joined Liverpool in a £20million deal

Southampton’s fire sale has continued, as Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren joined Liverpool for £20million.

The defender is just the latest Saints player to be enticed away from the south coast this summer.

Liverpool has of course also signed midfielder Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert from Southampton.

Luke Shaw left for Manchester United and it is looking increasingly likely that French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will leave for Tottenham.

Injured striker Jay Rodriguez is being linked with becoming the fourth player to make the move from St Marys to the red side of Merseyside.

Ripped Apart

The south coast club has basically been ripped apart from manager Mauricio Pochettino leaving for Spurs, to half the first choice players from last season leaving the club. The Saints were great to watch last season, but most of their impressive performers have now departed.

The style of play is likely to change, because the team will be a new look one next season. New boss Ronald Koeman is an advocate of attacking football, so the Saints are still likely to be easy on the eye next season. However it will be with different players.


Southampton has raked in a massive amount of money from the summer sales. That money needs to be re-invested in the team this summer, but the Saints now have the problem of clubs raising their players price tags when they come enquiring about a players availability.


Southampton has made two summer signings so far with the arrival of Italian striker Graziano Pelle and Serbian playmaker Dusan Tadic. Both players arrived from the Dutch top-flight, off the back of outstanding seasons in the Eredivisie.

In fact the pair had the highest average rating of any players in the Dutch top-flight. Pelle found the net 23 times in the Dutch top-flight in 28 appearances last season and created six goals playing for Feyenoord.

The 29-year-old scored 27 goals the previous season for the men from Rotterdam and had previously been linked with a move to Everton. His scoring record in Holland is impressive, but there is a wide gulf between the Premier League and Eredivisie.

Tadic also has impressive statistics from his days in the Eredivisie for FC Twente. Tadic scored 16 goals for Twente and got 14 assists from his attacking midfield position. The Serbian international is versatile and can play in a number of attacking midfield positions.

The 25-year-old looks to be a shrewd acquisition by the Saints and is likely to fill the void left by the exit of midfielder playmaker Adam Lallana.

Both players look like decent signings, but will have to adapt to the differences in the standards of leagues pretty quickly if they are to succeed at Southampton.


Southampton is being linked with a number of players via various media outlets at the moment. Two players the Saints are being heavily linked with are Dutch pair Ron Vlaar and Leroy Fer. The pair both played for Feyenoord before joining Aston Villa and Norwich, so Saints boss Ronald Koeman will know them well.

It seems that Koeman is also looking at Celtic pair Fraser Forster and Virgil van Dijk, according to the Daily Record. The Saints boss really does need to act quickly in the transfer market, as his squad could be looking very bare in the next few weeks judging by media speculation.


Even if Koeman does manage to bring in a host of new signings this summer, he will have a major job on his hands to get all the players together as a team. Players will need time to settle, especially the foreign players.

The number of players leaving will mean very little continuity at St Marys next season, which would be a worry if I was a Saints fan.


Since the mass exodus of players at St Marys this summer, the Saints are all of a sudden considered as outsiders for relegation at odds of 11/2.

I do not think that the situation is that drastic yet, but the Southampton management need to bring in players to strengthen their team and squad, otherwise the hard work of the past few years will have been wasted.

Can Southampton bring enough quality players this summer to progress?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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