Will Southampton Come Back Down To Earth Next Season?


Listen I am not going to lie, I thought Southampton were going to struggle this season. I was unsure how they’d deal with so many star players leaving St Mary’s last summer and I wasn’t convinced Ronald Koeman was the best man to replace Mauricio Pochettino.

Well how wrong was I?

But really can Southampton really stay in the top seven next term or even improve on that? 

You’d expect that two or three more first-teamers will depart in the summer.

With only a year remaining on Nathaniel Clyne’s contract and no sign that he’s in a hurry to extend it, you’d imagine that the England international right-back could be on his way.

I’d like to think if Morgan Schneiderlin still wants to leave the Saints come the summer, then Southampton will sell the Frenchman on. I think the midfielder has been loyal to the club and even though he wanted a move last summer, he didn’t have a huge sulk. Instead he improved yet again and has been huge for Southampton this term.

There is still a lot of talk that Tottenham and Manchester City want to pay out for Jay Rodriguez and that he too can be on his way out during the next transfer window.

So some observers may look at that and think ‘not again‘ or ‘they can’t survive that!‘ but I don’t see it that way.

Firstly look at the recruitment drive last summer. The buys have all settled in well and the majority have impressed this season. Fraser Forster, Graziano Pelle, Saido Mane and Dusan Tadic have really impressed during this campaign. Koeman and his management team will once again look at those same untapped markets and will probably find a few more gems that can enhance the squad.

Then you have the Saints Academy, which just seems to be a conveyor belt for top-class young talent. They now have the likes of Harrison Reed, Matt Targett, Sam Gallagher, Dominic Gape, Ryan Seager and Jake Hesketh all getting game time this season. Obviously the recent main product from the youth system, James Ward-Prowse, is still improving in the midfield too!

Clyne has has a tremendous season but if the Saints can sign up Toby Alderweireld to a permanent deal and bring in a decent right-back from Europe, you’d think they’ll be comfortable in that position.

Obviously Schneiderlin will be a big miss. But didn’t we say the same about; Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers? I really don’t think Victor Wanyama will be off anywhere this window and if his Celtic career is anything to go by, then he’ll only improve the longer he stays at St Mary’s. Plus Koeman could then pursue an old Feyenoord favourite of his Jordy Clasie. The Dutch internationalist could be a ready made replacement and cost a fraction of the price.

Unfortunately Jay Rodriguez hasn’t been seen all season due to injury. The English striker may be fit for the final few games of the season but he hasn’t been needed for this fantastic year so far. So say Man City come in with a £20m offer, SOuthampton would be foolish not to sell considering his recent injury history and the fact he’s only really had one really good season in the Premier League. They could then possibly sign up Charlie Austin from QPR for a cheaper fee. Or maybe the Saints can persuade Javier Hernandez to resurrect his career down in Hampshire.

Just think, selling just those three players could pocket the club between £50m-£70m! That kind of cash, spent wisely can propel a club to the next level.

A new goalkeeper may have to come in, with Fraser Forster likely to be out long term with a serious knee injury. Artur Boruc, currently impressing on loan at Bournemouth, could have plugged that gap but his deal expires in June and I would imagine he’d stay with the Cherries if they win promotion or maybe a return to Poland will be on the cards for the Thirty-five year old.

Personally I think Southampton will be fine next year and will finish in the top ten. I wouldn’t bet against them improving yet again in 2015/16 due to the core group staying and with Ronald Koeman enjoying his spell in the south coast.

As a club Southampton continue to impress both on and off the field. It has been a joy to watch them improve this season and who knows maybe next term they can grab some silverware or seriously push into ‘Top Four’ reckoning!

One Response to “Will Southampton Come Back Down To Earth Next Season?”

  1. A thoughtful assessment and prediction for which, as a life long Saints fan, I thank you. Logic dictates you are probably on the button for next season.
    I think the gap (financially) between the top four and the middle tier is too great for Saints. (Or any other team for that matter) Once in a long while a club may have a fluky season and upset the status quo but it would be business as usual the following season. All getting a little boring and predictable really.
    Time for an injection of the top four clubs from Jockland to come down and upset the apple cart a bit. I can see Celtic being a cat amongst the pigeons and in time Rangers too. Not likely to ever happen I know but it would be pleasing to the eye to see the Glasgow teams knock the billionaires about a bit.

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