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What Do Saints Need In This Transfer Window ?
Sunday, 9th Jul 2017 10:11

Our regular correspondent Dan takes a look at just what Saints will need to do before the transfer window slams shut.

The transfer window is now officially open despite plenty of clubs making signings for the month in between the end of the 2016/17 season and the 1st of July.

However, in this period of time, the only business that Southampton have done buying a young Polish centre-back who is likely to be a player that improves the depth of the squad in central defence and not one that is a regular starter for the first-team.

They have also sold J-Rod for a good fee of between £12m and £15m and sent Harrison Reed on loan to Norwich, a move I feel was long overdue.

Unfortunately, Saints may see themselves falling behind of Premier League rivals as Everton have already spent big money this summer and Leicester look set to splash the cash as well. Fans want to see big money signings and statements of intent by the club as they know that enough money is coming in.

But does the club need to make a good handful of signings to try and get back to European qualification (this surely is the goal) or do they need to have a different type of window to the clubs that are looking to finish in the same place?

By a different transfer window I mean one that doesn’t involve signing a bunch of new players like in Koeman’s first summer. I think that the main importance of this window is making sure that the club prevent certain players from leaving than focusing on new ones coming in; I am of course referring to the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Ryan Bertrand and Cedric.

These three players are the ones that have been linked with big moves away from the south-coast with van Dijk receiving attention from pretty much every media outlet in the world.

We’ve already seen the somewhat satisfying rejection of a move to Liverpool for the defender after Liverpool tapped him up before contacting the club and so had to publicly state that they were no longer interested in him.

But plenty of other clubs are prepared to pay big money for the Saints skipper but fans just have to pray that big Les and co. stand firm this summer and not give outsiders a reason to call Southampton a “selling club”.

For me, keeping van Dijk, Bertrand and Cedric all together would be better than any signing that the club could make.

But of course signings to need to be made despite already having a decent squad that underachieved last season for the quality that it possesses. With Sofiane Boufal potentially having a much better season than last and Nathan Redmond on the rise, the team could already be ready to compete for Europe once again!

However, for me I feel like maybe two statement signings and a couple of players just to improve depth would be all that is necessary in terms of bringing in players.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the club should go for Gylfi Sigurdson. He’s proven in the Premier League and will be looking for a move to a club with a bit more ambition than Swansea. Yes, the papers are reporting that Leicester and Everton are chasing him but he has been linked with the club in the past and we know that the Icelandic midfielder has been on the Southampton radar for the past few seasons.

Yes the price tag will be large but last summer the club spent just over £40m in total on players and with a lack of necessity for a large number of incomings this season, I would rather the club spent around £30m on Sigurdson, who has proven himself in the Premier League, than buy a couple of players with a total sum of £30m that won’t have too much of an effect.

For me, a transfer window where the club keep their starts and make a statement or two would be one of the best transfer windows that Southampton fans have seen in a while. With a squad needing just one or two high quality additions to potentially reach their ambitions, the club may not have a window similar to one of their rivals also competing for Europe but one where their stars stay will be very beneficial to the season ahead.

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aceofthebase added 11:02 - Jul 9
Sell Bertrand. He is a top class player and worth a fair bit if dosh. Targett and Mcqueen just about good enough in that position.
Sell Cedric without hesitation. He cost us many points early in the season with his non existent defending and Pied ready in that position. Buy chambers to play RB as well.
Hang on for dear life to VVD who is an exceptional player who is the difference between winning and losing games

pete_boggs added 11:56 - Jul 9
I agree wholeheartedly with getting Gylfi Sigurdson as he can score from open play and dead balls but this will not happen under Reed as this would be a threat to, his favourite, JWP's position. Reed thinks that JWP is a no 10, unbelievable as that may seem.

helpineedsomebody added 12:14 - Jul 9
just invest in a top quilty centre half + get the team playing above themselves & hopefully we have good manager who plays to a good playing system that the players like.

sidsaint added 12:55 - Jul 9
Not much if we keep our big names. I would have liked to have seen us go for Iheanacho. He's young and has scored a number of goals for Man City. Leicester seem to be showing more ambition in the market than us. Sigurdson would be a great signing especially if Tadic goes, but I can't see Les getting his check book out for him. The manager may have a few favourites from his previous experiences. This is a different summer than last when obvious replacements were needed. This time its all about ambition.

kenis added 13:36 - Jul 9
Yoshida needs a new contract and we need another first choice central defender to play with VVD or step in if he goes on deadline day. Sakho the obvious choice but Pelligrino may be able to advise on a South American prospect or a La Liga player not covered / rated in the black box for much less in fees and wages. Keep Cedric, Pied unproven for us and keep Bertrand and Tadic. Question is are Hojiberg and Claise good enough back up to Romeu and Davis?

TeamCortese added 18:27 - Jul 9
I agree with the article and sidsaint’s comment. Iheanacho is a no brainer but will probably be too expensive due to competition domestically and abroad. Regardless we need a striker who will provide serious competition (or possibly partner Gabbiadini).

Sigurdson’s similar. However, I’m not sure if he’s really a box-to-box midfielder or attacking midfielder? If the latter we’d need to sell Boufal or Tadic because we’d be a bit top heavy in that area. I’d prefer we sell Tadic and let Boufal develop. He would definitely learn from Sigurdson’s attitude. If the former then he could definitely displace Davis. They’ll be many suitors for him as well and that again will inflate his price.

We also need to get a decent centre-half to partner VVD (Sakho perhaps). Yoshi played well last season but I don’t think he can take us to the next level. Nonetheless he’s a very, very good back-up!

I also think we need more pace and power in the midfield—especially on the wings. Since Mane left we’ve lost that option to stretch opposition with his clever runs. Mane really committed defenders and that’s why players like Long, Tadic and to a certain extent Pelle did so well a couple of seasons ago because of the space he created for others.

Ali_Diarea added 20:39 - Jul 9
It depends what formation we play. 3-4-3 seemed to be in vogue at the end of last season and in Bertrand and Cedric we have the perfect wing-backs to play that formation. If we adopt this formation I think we only need one proven centre back, two if we sell VVD. It then becomes a crunch season for Clasie, Hojberg and JWP.

My first eleven would be:

VVD, new signing, Stephens (to learn his trade)
Bertrand, Romeu, Davis, Cedric
Bertrand, Gabbi, Tadic

That leaves JWP, Hojberg, Clasie, Long, Boufal and Austin as cover for five places. But I still think we need cover for Romeu.


oldeastterrace added 22:07 - Jul 9
I don't want to be negative but I am a tad concerned that the ownership issues are damaging us. It is blatantly obvious that Kathrina is not willing to put the Liebherr money into the club anymore. The club either has to stand on its own two feet or find new ownership. I am not convinced that these Chinese will be good news for the club. I really do hope that they are talking to alternative 'investors'.

We desperately need new blood in defensive posititions. Fonte has still not been replaced and Van Djyke will need replacing. Stephens and Yoshida will never convince me. We may need to replace Bertrand too. Other clubs are overtaking us and this is concerning me greatly. I fear Bournemouth may be the Souths top dogs come next May. From where I am standing i see Saints finishing in the bottom half of the table (12th-16th).

SaintBrock added 22:29 - Jul 9
For goodness sakes, the season hasn't started yet. If nothing changes we are at least good enough for 8th again not including the influence of the new manager and return of van Dyke.

LordDZLucan added 09:07 - Jul 10
We've signed up all the youngsters on long-term contracts. What we need to do now is to not sell anybody else and to invest in a couple of £20m+ players. Box-to-box midfielders are the priority as Oriol Romeu is forced to do the work of 3 players in midfield far too often. At the moment we've invested a net minus £6m in the squad which is not a great start!

Keesie66 added 10:17 - Jul 10
Sigurdsson, Loftus Cheek, Sneijder, Iheanachio, Josh King.... attacking midfield options with a shot, drive to goal and 10 goals+ per season........we need goals this season......

TimSaint added 11:07 - Jul 10
To be blatantly honest, last season we limped out of Europe, sacrificed the FA Cup and limped, slipped and tripped into 8th in the League. Yes the manager was the ultimate tinker man, but it did show us that our team was not only lacking in quality, but strength in depth as well.
On that basis, all the players firstly need to step up and then we can start looking to improve and replace where necessary in the following areas:

Keepers - seem to have too many - get rid of a couple, or get rid of 4 and get in a decent one to offer competition for FF
RB - sorted with Cedric and Pied
LB - sorted with Bert, Targett and McQueen
CB - need to sign an additional quality central defender
Mid - key area for me. Far too much chopping and changing here. some good performances last season were rewarded with being dropped for the next few weeks, or seemingly too much favoritism being shown. Need a balanced stable midfield and the likes of Davis should play a lesser part, so perhaps Hojbjerg or Clasie may feature more - if not sell them. Someone like Siggurdsson would be great but I think he is now out of our price range at upwards of 30 mill. Would like to see a quick direct winger added - perhaps this guy in the French league we were linked with, or Demari Gray from Leicester ?
Striker- would love Iheanacho but don't think the price suits our transfer model. Would sign a striker though as Charlie will no doubt get injured again and perhaps Long too - and Gallagher will probably go on loan again.

Just don't sell any of our top players to teams around us in the league - at least then we have more of a chance of finishing above them !!

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