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Hughes Impressed By Saints Transfer System
Wednesday, 18th Jul 2018 09:09

Mark Hughes has been talking about the Southampton way of doing things in the transfer market and he is impressed by what he sees.

Saints transfer policy of the past four years has been condemned by some Saints supporters who take no account into the fact that the players who have left have been demanding to go to big clubs for big wages.

The reality is that we cannot compete with the big six in financial terms so we have to do things differently, that means trying to control players leaving to suit our needs and not there's, sadly that is something we can't control as much as we would like to as the Virgil Van Dijk situation showed us last season.

Indeed if other clubs are after our players then that shows we are doing something right, clubs like Stoke or West Brom haven't sold many players that is true, but there is a good reason for that, no one wanted them and as the League table showed for good reason.

But every club has a blip every now and then and our was last season, perhaps it is down to a little complacency, maybe even arrogance on the part of Les Reed, but so far this summer it looks like we have learned our lessons spending £51m on bringing in Stuart Armstrong, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Angus Gunn and Jannik Vestergaard to bolster a squad which struggled last season not due to the quantity or even the quality, but due to key areas not being dealt with especially in the centre of defence.

Certainly Mark Hughes likes the way things are done, speaking to the Daily Echo he said.

“I’ve been involved in the process. I came in [at the beginning of June] just to go through the potential targets that were there that the club had lined up and felt were viable,”

“We went through and categorised who we felt would be number one, number two, number three. Not necessarily because they were lesser players, they were all A-list players, but just which ones would be a preference if we were able to get them.

“It was a good process, it was encouraging for me because I understood that a lot of work’s gone on before they actually present to me as they manager.

“The worry I’ve had in the past about understanding the character of the players and whether they’ll come into the Premier League and have an impact.

“A lot of that work is already done before they even get presented to me.

“All transfers are risks, you’re never quite sure how a player will react to a certain environment, a different way of coaching, a different country."

“It’s difficult but if they’ve got the fundamentals as people and players, then they shouldn’t have a problem.”

Hughes also alluded to his time at Stoke where the main gripe about his final time there from the fans was the quality of the signings, some clubs still rely on the manager to do the spadework on finding new signings and although in the past that was the British way of doing things, in the modern game that is not the case, at Saints the manager is part of the transfer process, but his main task is to coach the first team.

“Sometimes you can spread yourself thin getting involved in different aspects.

“What I found when I came here was that everything, almost without fail, is already here, in terms of structure and support to the first-team.

“It’s very easy for me to focus on the job in hand, which was eight games and getting the maximum out of the team.

“Hopefully, that’ll be the case this year. We’ll have a real focus on maximising our chances of winning.

“Everything that surrounds me as the manager and the operation as a first-team that’s in place and we’ve got quality people.

“Hopefully I don’t have to get my hands dirty in that regard because it’s all in place which is really impressive.”

So Mark Hughes is impressed, the cynics in the Saints support might say that it's all PR spin, but Hughes has a reputation for saying it how it is and although of course as manager of the club he is there to talk it up, he clearly is impressed by the set up.

The problems in the past two seasons have been about over coaching and a lack of man management, hopefully Hughes can redress that balance.

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patred added 11:00 - Jul 18
Hughes maybe impressed with the way tranafers are dealt with now under Ross Wilson.
But if we had carried on under Les Reed would he? I seriously doubt it.
Reeds last signing Carrilo, a club record, Hughes couldn't get rid of him quick enough.
No one in their right mind would beleive Reed had bought well in any window he was responsible for. Even when he sold a player he did not replace the player being sold on time. As a consequence our playing squad got weaker by the season. That, combine with the last two managers Reed scorced nearly got us relegated.

helpineedsomebody added 11:23 - Jul 18
this season the new owner will be looking very closely at all his employees , why becouse he didnt invest hundreds of millions of pounds for the club to struggle this season.
sadly though there is still a lack of intent on the new owner becouse we all know we need a goal scoreing centre forward & that will cost a huge amount of money, we simply cannot rely on charles he breaks down every season with out fail + we need a play maker in midfield who can pass the ball up through the middle not square & sideways.
i hope the manager plays oriol at the back this season he looked the real deal on tour in fact he looked world class
but good luck sfc lets hope we can get st marys ROCKING THIS SEASON.

MySaintedAunt added 12:07 - Jul 18
When Les Reed came to the club, we were in League One. Since his arrival, we have climbed year on year, last season's blip aside. If he is at all arrogant, and I see no evidence that he is, then surely he is entitled to be? We would not be where we are now without Les Reed.

legod7 added 12:08 - Jul 18
Seems a strange time for MH to be talking about this with 3 weeks still left of the transfer window. With the 4 signings coming very quickly together it makes me think that he is dropping a hint that no more players are being signed.

saintjf added 12:14 - Jul 18
The run up to the new season is looking very well planned and well organised with some very interesting signings. I look forward to Saints being competitive and really hope that the atmosphere in place at the end of the season is there for the new season. Think where we might have been. Good luck SFC.

A1079 added 12:43 - Jul 18
Hmmm. He may be impressed how it is now and if he is comparing to how it is done at his former club, then for all I know, he may have a valid point. But, he wasn't here last summer or the one before that or the transfer windows in between and they and the way we conducted ourselves in the close season were a mess.

Now, if we have learnt from that and made adjustments to avoid a repeat, which on the face of it, it appears we have this close season, then great.

Most managers are expected to trot out something now and then and praise the management and club they are with, so I take it all with a pinch of salt. Time will tell whether this close season is a positive, but I cannot fault thus far how the club has handled the close season period. Long may it continue. There are still some improvements to be made.

EasyTiger added 12:47 - Jul 18
Credit where credit is due - Saints have been much more positive & definitive in their transfer dealings in this window. Compare that to the slow & too deliberative approach previously. Except for any departures and other additions (we still need a striker, imo), we now have a squad of players that stand the best chance of gelling before the season starts. We haven't been able to say that very often. How they perform is another matter entirely & only time will tell...

IWOZTHERE added 14:29 - Jul 18
patred mentioned Ross Wilson now being the 'transfer man'. That now appears to be the case. It would be interesting to know the facts, as Les has disappeared from the limelight?

BoondockSaint added 14:35 - Jul 18
"i have been involved in the process....."
That says it all.
He wasn't here the last two years when Les was allowed to dither away the summer and only sign new players (if any) in the last week of the window, leaving the team no time to get itself sorted in time to start the season. You can be sure Hughes wants to be prepared.

As NewburySaint mentioned in an previous post; Notice no pictures of Les with the new signings? Hopefully he has gone back to his proper job of sorting contracts as he did while Paul Mitchell brought in the players to help us climb the leagues.

That will leave Les plenty of spare time for his hobby: Slagging Fonte on fansites........

KriSaint added 15:44 - Jul 18

"Hope he plays Oriol at the back this season, he looked the real deal on tour in fact he looked world class."

Certainly worth considering, mate.
As the middle CB / "sweeper", right? He has some PACE, which we lack with our presumed best 3 center backs: Vestergaard, Hoedt & Stephens.


Cjay80 added 15:51 - Jul 18
Not just the top six, we can't compete with Everton, Leicester or West Ham for wages either. Great business so far but still feel we are missing the final piece of the jigsaw up front

chumley added 16:06 - Jul 18
Yes Mark you are right , Stoke haven’t sold any players yet but what they have done is tied up some of the best although we’re in the Championship. We will sell others that you say no-one wants, well just ask yourself who brought them and paid a lot over the odds for you said at Stoke, you had the final say on who was signed, so thanks for nothing and heaven help Southampton...

sidsaint added 21:40 - Jul 18
I think the more positive transfer window this season is because we no longer have a yes man as manager but someone who probably negotiated a transfer budget and a full say in who was coming when he signed his contract. Hughes is not going to be pushed around like our last 2 managers but is more like Koeman. He doesn't appear however to have gone back to Stoke possibly because of disagreements with the players, which may or may not prove to be a negative if things start going wrong. So far so good and lets hope the new players hit the ground running.

underweststand added 21:09 - Jul 19
Clubs who lack a transfer infrastructure / Black Box variant are those who eventually fall by the wayside. If asked a year ago, few people would have forecast Stoke or West Brom for the drop and MH had first hand experience of that at Stoke.

The point well made in Nick's article was that good players, no matter where they come from don't necessarily fit the bill, when they go to club's who play a different formation, or they are given a role different to that which gave them success.

If Hughes was impreessed by the preparation (prior to transfer discussions), then it shows we must be doing something right but even the best preparation can't explain why the likes of Lemina and Boufal come to our club yet don't fit in - as intended.
Hjobjerg took time to settle, but seems to have found himself a place in the squad, but
we must learn to be patient with our newcomers and allow them time to settle in.

We should also avoid criticism of potential "transfer deals " that don't work out, because at the end of the day, regardless of salary /terms -it is the player who makes the decision.


underweststand added 05:03 - Jul 20
As a post script to my (above).... I noticed that our main outlet for players (Liverpool F.C.) have spent a whopping £175 million already (without buying anyone from Saints this time and it's still only mid July. This goes to illustrate the real difference between an "average Prem. club with a modest budget" and the "Top 6" who seemingly have bottomless pockets, and buy their squad by throwing money at it.

Although we have (sadly) become accustomed to losing our best talents, it's down to matters beyond our control and I (for one) enjoy seeing us buy in "unrecognised talents " and watching them develop - even if they may depart in a few years time.

Having bragged about "our Academy" for the last 10 years, we can also take some satisfaction in seeing the likes of JWP, Stephens, Targett and Sims have had game time whereas young hopefuls who sign for the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal should note that those clubs can count " successful Academy graduates " on their thumbs.

As for Liverpool ..signing a £60 goalie won't solve their defensive problems whilst they have the likes of "world class" Lovren and the "strangely uncertain" VvD in their midst.
Jörgen Klopp may be on the slippery slope if L'pool don't (at least) make the CL semis
this season, whilst I'm sure most of us will be happy to see MH guide us to a good top half finish especially after last season's debacle.


LoisDeem added 08:39 - Jul 23
Hughes' comments initially seemed sound and refreshingly honest.
However, after conceding three with no reply, I wonder what his thoughts are now?

Come on Saints, give us some utmost positivity on the goal scoring front.

IMHO, it is that simple. The other signings won't add up without this signing.

LoisDeem added 08:41 - Jul 23
Nick, have to repeat comments of previous contributors, it's quite difficult to make these submissions fluently and without interruption.

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