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Saints Need To Trim The Squad To Continue Moving Forward !
Wednesday, 28th Jun 2017 08:00

All the talk has been about Virgil Van Dijk leaving Saints but the truth is Saints have to see a few leave to freshen up the squad.

Saints obviously want to hold on to Virgil Van Dijk, but new manager Mauricio Pellegrino will probably need to oversee a few departures in order to enable him to bring n a few new names and bring a sense of freshness back to the squad after the year under Claude Puel.

The reality under the Frenchman was that perhaps 5 or 6 players were not happy with the game time they were getting under him and would have been looking to leave if he had stayed, whether they may now change their minds remains to be seen.

Jay Rodriguez looks to be first out with a £12 million move to West Brom rumoured to be imminent, this is perhaps time for him to move on and make a new start.

Shane Long would probabaly have definitly gone if Puel had stayed, but may now stay.

Ryan Bertrand looks set to leave after three years at the club and no one can really blame him in the fact that he is about to turn 28 and this is probably his last chance for a truly big move and pay day, if he goes to Manchester City as rumoured then it could bring in £25 million.

Dusan Tadic looks another likely to go, again after three years service he found himself marinalised by Puel and could now go for a fee of around £13 million. The fact is that there is perhaps not room for both Tadic and Boufal in the squad, so one will go.

Jordy Clasie was treated terribly by Puel, but hopefully may now see his future here as may Charlie Austin.

If we can keep Virgil Van Dijk then it looks likely that we could lose three, Bertrand, Rodriguez and Tadic, this would not be the end of the world and would see us still strong up front with Austin, Long, Redmond, Boufal, Gabbiadini and the emerging Josh Sims as six attacking players.

I would suspect that we would replace Bertrand with Targett not quite ready after missing most of last season through injury and McQueen probably not quite good enough.

But if we sold Bertrand, Rodriguez and Tadic then we would be looking at around £50 million in transfer fee's we could bring in a central defender and a left back for around £40 million in total and still have enough to perhaps bring in one more player.

This is of course if we hang on to Van Dijk, if we sell him as well then we will have more money than we could probably spend sensibly, but we could almost certainly strengthen the squad.

Idealy though we would keep VVW bring in a new partner for him in this transfer window with Stephens and Yoshida as back up, then look at bringing in VVW's replacement in January.

Some Saints supporters see it as a backward step buying players, but I feel that this is the only way we can compete against the big six, if we stay the same we stagnate and the only way we can keep moving forward is by bringing in players and developing them and eventually selling them.

Some won't iike to read this, but it is the harsh reality, we cannot compete financially in terms of wages and transfer fees, we have to do it our way.

But if we were only to lose the three mentioned that would not be the end of the World and I think we would have a stronger squad overall, personally I would not like to see any of the leave, but we have to keep moving forawrd and freshening up the squad.

My big hope for next season is that last term a squad badly managed and poorly motivated still finshed 8th, hopefully Mauricio Pellegrino will bring something to the table and with a little luck and a focused squad we can achieve at least 8th again have a go at a cup final and hopefully leapfrog over Everton who like us last term have a packed programme due to the Europa League.

Modern football has changed from the past, it is more transient, players dont stay at clubs for long these days, squads change regularly ours is no exception.

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LondonSaint added 09:57 - Jun 28
That's a fair reflection, I think. All great servants but probably time for some to move on for the sake of both parties. I hope they all do well if they do leave.

(Slightly off-topic) I would personally like to see Stephens given a chance alongside VVD (or his replacement) to see how far he can develop. Same goes for Gallagher. Yes, it's a risk however it was easy to develop players in L1 or the Champ - if we are serious about the Southampton Way then we need to show we trust youth players to take up the reigns of departing players. If it's simply that they're not good enough then sell them or loan them out. Stephens, Targett, Sims, Reed, Gallagher (and probably more) need to be playing if they are to improve to become first teamers - keeping them in the reserves and holding back their career isn't the Southampton Way, in my opinion.

redandwhitesupporter added 10:03 - Jun 28
Good read fully expecting more outs than ins this summer with the lack of games compared to last season now we are without European football. On top of this the path needs to be clear for academy players who are good enough to make the step up

SanMarco added 11:04 - Jun 28
Interesting that the mood music on here now has Bertrand going. Add that to the (near inevitable) VVD departure and we suddenly look thin on quality. Targett and McQueen are not 'replacements' for Bertrand. I have visions of us kicking off vs Swansea with a back four of Targett, Stephens, Yoshi and Pied.
I await the article that says that Romeu has reached the right age for a move up in the world.
We certainly need to get rid of a few players - but not the good ones, Another poor summer of selling the good and buying inadequate/unsuitable replacements would definitely have us 'looking over our shoulders'.....

aceofthebase added 11:51 - Jun 28
San marco I quite like that improved back line

ExiledSupporter added 12:04 - Jun 28
I have a fundamental problem with the idea that selling VVD, Soares, Bertrand (and previously Fonte) within 6 mths of each other can do anything to genuinely further our ambitions or provides continuity or stability or team cohesion. Further undermined by four managers in the years since we returned to the PL. This makes us a ‘selling club’ (insufficiently ambitious to either attract or retain the best managers) apparently unable to resist large windfalls of cash, perpetually doomed to be in the also rans for much of the time and occasionally threatened with relegation in the occasional season where, for a combination of reasons, events happen to conspire against us.

The player that I would most like to see go is FF who seems to have steadily become less reliable and more inconsistent!
So much talk about the Southampton Way without clear definition – what does it mean?
My view is that it means sell at a large profit, replace at a relatively modest cost, bring in some of our own talent (perhaps not quite so impressively or successfully in recent years) and hope to get two years of pay back before selling on and starting the whole circular process again. The only clear ambition is to stay in the EPL, perhaps sometimes in the top ten, but never to seriously threaten the complacency of the top six contenders because we flog our best players to them!
Where we failed last year was to carry on that strategy, but we also lost sight of the need to consistently play as entertainingly as the fans might like.
Rather harshly Puel paid for that with his job even though on a number of other fronts he will have filled the clubs requirements eg. bringing in and developing some of our young and untried talent eg. Stephens, and improving the quality of some of our existing more mature squad eg. Yoshida
On a different front perhaps we should think a little more out of the box. At one time not so long ago we had a plan to have all our sides play the same formation and tactics on the pitch. This seems to have been junked in the last couple of seasons (I wondered at the time if this could ever be sustainable given the likely turnover of managers for reasons stated above); but amongst the admittedly confusing and sometimes inconsistent team permutations made over the course of the season, we for instance used a midfield diamond on occasions in the first three months of the season. I can understand changing formations to better counter the opposition, especially if it is stronger than we are, but we should never fix on a formation which is counter to the strengths of our own players. It’s the same old problem do we select formations and tactics to suit the qualities of the players that we have available or do we select the players to suit the tactics we want to employ.
If we are anticipating a ‘clear out’ and perhaps Tadic, J Rod, Gardos (remember him) and others might be going too, then perhaps we should be considering playing with 3 at the back as per Chelsea (and even Arsenal towards the end of the season)? In which case VVD, Stephens and Yoshida might make a strong defensive unit, though perhaps a little lacking in pace. Since it seems clear that we need two strikers on the pitch to improve our goal scoring performance (it’s too much for Gabiadini on his own) and I think that should be a Pelle/Lambert type figure preferably, but could be a mix of Long/Austin (assuming JRod is off – and best wishes to him if so)we badly need to have midfielders who are box to box players able to defend and to attack at speed and to contribute collectively more assist and goals than in the past few campaigns.
Of course, I have no idea what the new managers plans will be, and I don’t expect he can really have an informed view before he arrives and has had a while to assess the squad. But my fear is that rather like Puel he will be left with fewer choices than he might wish for because Reed will have made his own mark on the shape of the squad consistent with his perception of the demands of the ‘Southampton Way’

Jesus_02 added 12:05 - Jun 28

I count 7 CM competing for 2 places we probably need to loose or loan out at least 3 (not Romeu) and get 1 proven performer in

landerwal added 12:07 - Jun 28
You may want to to add Soares to your list of departures. There seems to be a lot of interest in him according to today's BBC football gossip page, from Europe as well as the usual "big" clubs in the Premiership. Given how well he played last season, his loss would be felt far more than the other three players departures, combined.

legod7 added 12:16 - Jun 28
According to Les Reed on Sky Sports News today when asked about VVD & Cedric he said they are not for sale. He was also asked about JRod going and he said there could be some ins and outs.

bstokesaint added 12:59 - Jun 28
We definitely need to offload some players. There were a few that let Puel down last season. A new manager coming in and offing a few doesn’t in its own right make us a “selling club.” We would lose a hell of a lot of quality (and stability) if we lost Bertrand, VVD and Cedric, but if the board absolutely promised to reinvest the lot we could be looking at £120m upwards. Maybe add to that Tadic, who I still think personally goes missing in too many games and the manager may feel that combined with the good old “black box” he could rebuild a formidable team. Let’s be honest he worked with a lot less with some success in his last role. One thing we have done well in recent seasons is recruit brilliant defensive players. I think a lot of fans will lose faith in the board once and for all if they have another bad summer.
On another note it was good to see JWP and Redmond having a decent U21’s tournament. For all of the knockers of JWP his set pieces throughout were superb and it makes you wonder why Saints’ don’t make a lot of more his true strengths. Plus he can take a penalty!

Cjay80 added 14:15 - Jun 28
So much negativity on here. I like the idea of a Manager keen to press opponents and play attacking football, players on long term contracts being not for sale, pruning the squad and bringing in more capable replacements and if we can just get the fans to SUPPORT the team and be a 12th man then I see no reason why we can't finish top 6 and be in touching distance of 4th.

REEDYREEDOREEDZ added 17:17 - Jun 28
I agree with Cjay, we have a lot be optimistic about. The board have promised not to sell our best players and I believe they will do their best. There's no need to assume we will lose VVD, Cedric and Bertrand just because some big teams want them. If we did lose those players there would be such an uproar that Reed et al would have to go after what they have told us.
We do need to trim the squad to allow room for a few quality signings. Personally I would get rid of Jrod, Long and Gallagher and bring in one quality attacker. Whether it be a target man or someone quick and skilful depends on how Pellegrini is intending to play.
Our centre midfield is really good, we just lack goals from there. If I had to be ruthless then I’d get rid of Davis or Clasie. Davis due to his inability to shoot and Clasie because he has struggled with the physical side of the game. If we could sign someone like Sigurdsson to play number 10 then that would be ideal, although Swansea have priced us out of a move. Maybe if JWP stepped up then Sigurdsson could be his role model!!
We need a top quality centre back. To make room for this then Gardo needs to go.
Apart from that we have a good squad. Pellegrini’s biggest challenge is getting the best out of his players. Especially in attack we need the likes of Redmond, Boufal, Tadic and JWP getting up towards double figures for goals.

TeamCortese added 22:13 - Jun 28
We need to get rid off the following players:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster and Gazziniga

Defence: Florin Gardos

Midfield: Harrison Reed, JWP, Davis

Attack: JRod, Shane Long, Gallagher (Maybe loan him out to a decent Championship side) and Tadic (too toxic for the dressing room and often went missing last season)

Players in:

Goalkeeper: Not sure…Pickford’s gone to Everton :(, Maybe Michael Vorm

Defence: Nathan Ake, Kurt Zouma, Kevin Wimmer, Sakho, Michael Keane

Midfield: Box-to-box midfield who can score and assist goals.

Attack: Mariano Diaz, Sigurdsson (probably off to Everton), Onyeru, Iheanacho, Benteke and Zaha

zonehead added 03:37 - Jun 29
That's it get rid of our own and bring in some foreigners before brexit kicks in!

TeamCortese added 22:44 - Jun 29
Wow! Sorry for an honest opinion...can someone tell why any of those players I've mentioned justify keeping on next season? Also can someone tell me whether any of those players would cut it at a Top 6 team?

Last time I checked that's what we're aiming to break into...Also if my suggestions are so bad can people give alternatives. It's so easy to criticise other ideas without providing anything in return. Where are the suggestions from these 5 so-called enlightened individuals?????

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