Southampton’s Summer Sales Aren’t So Bad


It’s summer sales season at St Mary’s at the moment. Southampton have seemingly agreed to sell important trio Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and captain Adam Lallana. In total it’s believed that the ‘Saints’ have recouped in total £63m, depending on various clauses.

That is great business for a club like Southampton who weren’t in the English Premier League (EPL) in early 2012. It’s also worth remembering that the club are notorious for finding talent, developing it and selling the players on for a huge profit; look at Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

For me, I can’t really argue with the sales. Football is a huge business now and you need to make that kind of turnover. The only problem for the club is how they spend some of that cash and if new boss Ronald Koeman can hit the ground running and get the players believing in his ideas and methods.

Southampton still have a good core of players that have proven themselves in the EPL.

Artur Boruc is a fine goalie on his day. Jose Fonte is a dependable, solid defender. Dejan Lovren had a fantastic first season with the Saints last term and  has been touted for a £20+ move too. Victor Wanyama is a great midfield marshall who is still young at twenty-three. Morgan Schneiderlin has improved so much that he has went from a League One player in 2011 to a French World Cup star in 2014. Jack Cork is a composed and classy midfielder. Steven Davis is an experienced campaigner that adds a wealth of knowledge to the squad. Plus they have a recovering Jay Rodriguez, a striker who was possibly on his way to Brazil for this summers World Cup had he not suffered from his injury.

The club also have two maverick enigmas.

Twenty-three year old Gaston Ramirez has all the talent in the world but hasn’t produced it enough during his spell at St Mary’s. The creative playmaker should get plenty of chances now Lallana seems to be off to Liverpool, the Uruguayan (currently at the World Cup) really does need to impose himself more and become a star in England’s top flight.

The other enigma is the talented but volatile Dani Osvaldo. The Italian international forward cost the club £13m last summer but left just six months later, after a violent altercation with Fonte, joining Juventus on loan. On the park he was a bit hit or miss. He scored a terrific goal against Man City but failed to score regularly enough. Like Ramirez, Osvaldo has the skill set to work in the EPL but he needs to do that consistently. He didn’t do enough in Turin to earn a permanent transfer and may now need to return to Southampton and hope for forgiveness from his fellow teammates, if he’s going to figure in new boss Koeman’s plans.

The Southampton roster also has a good source of younger players, aged twenty-three or younger. Nathaniel Clyne has been tipped for an international call-up. Nineteen year old full-back Calum Chambers could possibly be another future £20m+ sale, as his early performances have caught the attention of various managers. England U21 international James Ward-Prowse managed over thirty EPL appearances last term and seems to be improving all the time. Sam Gallagher’s first team outings last season were impressive enough to see him rewarded with a new long term deal. Midfielder Harrison Reed has also won admirers with his displays and seems very keen on a pass.

So you look at that and you can see it’s not all doom and gloom at Southampton, far from it. They’ve shown in the past that they can bring through talented players, sell them on and then bring in fine replacements either from their own well respected academy or from astute signings.

The only problem is that Ronald Koeman and newish chairman Ralph Krueger need to prove themselves as being the right men to take Southampton forward and keep them going as a decent Premier League outfit. The foundations are very good but they need to be improved on.

Both men need to identify possible new recruits and do their best to get those players in and for the right price.

Graziano Pelle seems to be the first in line to come in. The striker has an impressive strike rate in the Dutch Eredivisie and worked well with Koeman at Feyenoord. At twenty-eight he should also be hitting the prime years for a striker. His lack of goals in his native Italy might raise a few eyebrows of the doubters.

I’d like it if the Saints looked at the Championship and picked up a few talented players from there. They’ve been linked with newly promoted Burnley hitman Danny Ings. I believe Derby’s Will Hughes would be better off at a club like Southampton before thinking about a move to a top six club. Same could be said for Nottingham Forest defender Jamaal Lascelles. Obviously the only problem with that market is that you will have to pay premium prices, especially if the sides believe that the Saints have £60m in the bank to spend (I seriously doubt they do by the way).

Losing Lambert, Shaw and Lallana is certainly a blow but they have received good fees and I am unsure that Lallana and Lambert could have given Southampton any more than they did in the last two seasons.

Its now important for Southampton football club not to sell many more key personnel, if any, this summer. As I pointed out they need to buy well this pre-season too as it will boost the squad and excite the fan-base. Should they do everything right then Southampton as a club could come out of this summer a leaner, better side and business. Should they get the key decisions wrong then they may slide down the table, lose team morale and struggle next term.

It’s not about the past for Southampton, they need to look to the future and build on the success they’ve had and once again improve.

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