Saints In The Market But Not Desperate Tuesday, 22nd Jan 2019 09:42
The club appear to have been talking to the Daily Echo about their plans and as we on the TUI have been saying since the window opened they prefer to avoid buying in the January transfer window unless the price is right.
The Daily Echo understands that Saints would still like to add one or two players to their squad before the window closes a week on Thursday but accept that may not be possible.
They remain likely to have to sell before they can buy and, therefore, are partially reliant on other clubs making moves.
That is understandable given that they spent heavily in the summer window in 2018 after breaking their own transfer record a year ago for the now out on loan Guido Carrillo.
Having brought in around £12 million for Manolo Gabbiadini they do have some money in the bank, but well run football clubs budget for transfer fees and if Saints want to bring in two players in the next week or so without breaking into the summer's budget then ideally they would shift one or two more.
It is not just about raising transfer fees though, but taking money off the wage bill, Fraser Forster and Wesley Hoedt are two players who have not played under Hasenhuttl and they are big earners especially Forster.
Hoedt lookslike he will go to Celta Vigo but that is likely to be a loan move with an option to purchase in the summer so it won't bring in cash for transfer fees, however if both do go out on loan then it could save anywhere between £60k a week to £140k if we could get someone to pay their full salary.
That is unlikely but even if Saints could save say £70k a week that is over a million between now and the end of the season and it all adds up.
Saints could also look to shift Cedric Soares, if the right incoming players become available, that could raise £15 million and add that to the £12 million received so far then you have a reasonable transfer kitty.
Indeed if the right offer came in for Soares then they could sell him anyway, with Yan Valery currently playing in the right sided role and other options available, Saints could well decide to cash in even if they do not reinvest the money til the summer.
Taking six points from the last two games has meant that Saints have pulled clear of the relegation zone and now are very much in the driving seat to stay up, the next three games are crucial and could see us virtually safe by the end of February and tat means that unlike last year the pressure is not on us to do something this window.
Les Reed has been much maligned but in the main his signings have in the main been good, indeed it is only when we have veered from the blueprint that things have gone badly wrong, signing Sofiane Boufal was meant to be a marque signing to appease the fans after the departure of Ronald Koeman and Guido Carrillo was a panic buy when Saints had to do something a year ago to try and break the downward spiral.
Other than that most other signings have contributed in one way or another, Wesley Hoedt is much maligned but last season he was virtually an ever present and came good in games when we needed him, perhaps we did not storm to safety, but suddenly the defence only conceding 3 goals in the last 4 games, 2 of them deep into injury time was built on solid performances in the centre of defence in which Hoedt was the only ever present.
So unless they can get who they want at the right price and not be held to ransom, it's likely that Saints will do little in this window but prefer to wait for the summer and do a major overhaul then.
To be fair, the "square pegs" we have in the club weren't without talent or a fairly good CV when we bought them, but the turnover of managers between Koeman and Haslehuttl means that some were forced into unusual roles and different formations.
Perhaps we may take a hit to offload them at a loss but it's clear for players on longer contracts at (say) £60K week, we are looking at a salary burden of almost £3 million each year by retaining players who clearly don't fit into Ralph's plans. I agree we don't want to give players away for the sake of it, but if they have any pretentions to having a footballing career they need to seriuosly consider their future(s).
Perhaps those out on loan may not have a playing future with Saints but we need to let Ralph see them in action before deciding to offload them for good. Clasie is (I think) OOC this summer) but the likes of Forster, Boufal and Carrillo still have long contracts and will be a burden on club finances if we have to retain them... without playing them.
Hassenhuttl has already shown he can get the best out of players and agree with him we have a lot of dead wood and far to big a squad. This mainly down to the revolving door of managers and the requirements at the time as to how they saw it. Boufal seems to be one of those mentioned a lot in the offload bracket but the guy certainly had the skill and a bit of pace to succeed, yes other parts of his game would need to be addressed but under RH worthy of a second look and would say even now a better option than Elyounoussi??
It would have been better for the club and better for fans if all the vague bullsh*t about the transfer situation had been quashed from the outset and somebody in the Club had had the guts to say "we will not be buying any new players in January".
Allowing expectations to be raised only for it all to end in disappointment and despair for fans is about the worst way of running a PR exercise that you can imagine.
Only 3 CBs at the moment with Hoedt gone and Yoshi away so as we sometimes play all 3 another would surely be needed anyway, regardless of quality issues - perhaps the Asian cup finishes soon but I would still think we need another. It could well be the case that Ralph will keep us up anyway but to not get a CB would be risky.
The two best things that have happened to us in a long time are obviously the appointment of Ralph but also the sacking of Les Reed. I really don't understand this "once upon a time he was brilliant" defence of a man who oversaw our descent from 6th to 17th. In football you are judged on what you've done recently - Ranieri won the league and wasn't given as long as Les was before he got the chop. Yes, it is often unfair (Nigel Adkins would agree I am sure) but that's the way it is - Les should have been sacked a long time before he eventually was...
I'd be interested to see if Ralph could work with Carillo and get him playing or whether they see him as simply not good enough...? Hughes didn't fancy Bednarek - but look at him under Ralph. Is he worth a chance instead of blowing the 19 million we spent on him - or does the 5 goals from 18 starts with Leganes and his bro-mance with Pelegrino mean its not worth it?
Is there a possibility that Alfie Jones is being looked at as another of the academy players capable of stepping up to the squad? Like Sims he was recalled from loan but, that said, it's not clear whether he was failing to meeting expectations in Scotland or required back at St Mary's. Bournemouth seem to have signed Mepham for around £12m and time will tell if that is going to be a good investment. I'm still expecting at least one signing this month, purely because RH has indicated that they are window shopping, but I suspect it will be way under the current rumour radar. Equally I can envisage that Lemina, Austin or Gallagher would be allowed to leave to free up wages. No offence intended but if Gallagher really is on £40k a week then SanMarco is right, Les Reed should have been sacked months ago.
Note to.... highfield49. I agree that players like Alfie Jones deserve some recognition. Last season's U23 captain and seems mature beyond his years. YES it's more difficult for young defenders to break into the first team but he has progressed well in the last 2 years, and deserves a chance.
No-one can be sure how he might perform, but as a back-up/stop gap, he's just as a good a bet as (say) Ramsay was (at FB) in emergencies. It's a bit short-sighted for those who say that... having got rid of one player we have to spend big to replace him.
Had it not been Ralph's foresight in using; Obafemi, Valery, Slattery, Johnson and Ramsay when he did, they might still be anonymous names in Rahdi's U23 set-up. It took Lallana nd JWP quite a while to get recognition, and there is no guarantee that any of the recently used lads will end up with a Prem. career, but what they have achieved already will look good on their CV 's in the future.
highfield49 - Sims was not recalled from Reading, he was returned. They were doing badly in the league and he was not really featuring for them. They then sacked the manager and the replacement didn't want Sims - be it that he didn't see him as good enough, or wanted one of his own choice of loanee instead - so he ended up being returned to Saints early.
Any one know what has happened to Hesketh ? I believe he has returned from Burton, but not sure - was expecting him to maybe be on the bench for the Derby cup replay ?
I'm fairly sure that during a recent press conference, Ralf H said that we would be making a signing or 2 this window.
I know we cannot control other clubs selling, but surely it would have been far more beneficial to get 1 or 2 in over the weekend just gone, so that we would have 10 days to bed the players in and get them fully prepared for the Palace game.
.....think I said the same last year when we had a break before the important league game at Watford.
Still, I guess it saves on a few weeks wages if we buy at the end of the window !!