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Celta Vigo Want Permanent Boufal Deal But Not At The Agreed Price
Tuesday, 16th Apr 2019 10:09

Celta Vigon are said to be keen to sign Sofiane Boufal on a permanent basis, however they are not so keen to do it at the fee agreed in the terms of the loan deal.

Sofiane Boufal came to Southampton with high hopes from the supporter base and they soon found out that although he had talent and could score some spectacular goals, that his style of play did not suit the way that all three of the managers he played under wanted to put out their sides .

Boufal's two seasons were not great but he did contribute to the cause, his spectacular goal to win the EFL cup game against Sunderland helped us to a Wembley final, his stunning strike against Middlesbrough come the final reckoning was worth around £6 million in prize money being the difference between where we finished and where we would have without those extra two points.

His solo goal against West Brom last term although not technically being the difference between staying up and going down was ultimately two points that kept our heads just above water and gave us vital breathing space at the end of that awful season.

So although some would say Boufal was an expensive waste of time, sometimes you have to look at a bigger picture and what his individual contributions actually meant and from this perspective if we get a decent fee back for him, he wont have been the expensive flop that many would claim.

For the Spanish club he has been a regular and that has led them to want to make the move permanent, it is said that there is a clause in the loan agreement to allow him to move for 15 million euros a fee around 3 million Euros less than what we paid for him.

If that fee was met then i would say that we would have had a good return for our money given his individual contributions and that we would recoup most of the fee.

But it seems that Celta Vigo are not keen on him at that price and are looking to negotiate, so the big question will be what are they willing to pay ?

We are not in a strong position in that they know he does not feature in our plans at least not at present, so they will play on the fact that we will be looking to get rid of him and try to get him cheaply.

For Saints the first job this summer is to build up a reasonable transfer kitty from those players who are deemed surplus to requirements, I think that if Celta Vigo would be willing to pay around 12 million euros then this would be a good compromise, although we would still be down on our original purchase price, we would be recouping around 2/3 of that sum and all things being equal that would not be a disaster.

It would also mean that our transfer kitty assuming the Gabbiadini money is sitting there would be well over £20 million and with the possibility of more than doubling that if we can get reasonable fees for Cedric, Wesley Hoedt & Guido Carrillo.

Then it will be about raking a few more million here and there from players in the squad who are either fringe players or out on loan, Harrison Reed, Jake Hesketh and Jodie Clasie for instance and then the likes of Jack Stephens, Sam Gallagher, Charlie Austin, even Alex McCarthy could also be moved on , perhaps adding another £20 million to the kitty f we are lucky.

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DorsetIan added 10:26 - Apr 16
You don't see players with Boufal's level of skill very often so it's disappointing that it didn't really work out for him at Saints. He had the misfortune I suppose to be playing under some pretty uninspiring managers and you have to wonder whether Ralph could get him to function well in the current team?

If Celta Vigo are wanting to negotiate maybe it would be worth Ralph calling him back to have a proper look at him and to maybe help our hand in the negotiations (if Celta think they might have to fight us for him).

A lot of this is wishful thinking on my part because I always wanted to him to come good. Realistically, I suspect we've seen the last of him.


redwight added 10:47 - Apr 16
Quite agree DorsetIan. I too always hoped he would come good as his skills were never in doubt. That this never happened is more a reflection of the managers he played under than anything else. Given that Ralph operates at a different level entirely from his predecessors, maybe he can succeed where others failed. As you say, probably wishful thinking.

I_would added 10:49 - Apr 16
I think Dorset's right, bring him back and use instead of Prowse. Celta will only offer region of £6m, so he won't be worth selling at that. Boufal has got the sort of quality that is missing in the squad at the moment.

ThereIn76 added 11:08 - Apr 16
Too much of an individualist. Would beat a player, sometimes two, but would then look for a third to beat rather than a pass. Can’t see him fitting into RH’s philosophy.

saintpp added 11:13 - Apr 16
He could come good under Rh should be given another try whats to lose.Ha can win games on his own.

Sanguin added 11:17 - Apr 16
I agree completely with ThereIn76. I found Boufal incredibly frustrating to watch, if he took the ball past a player he would then hold it up to give the player a chance to get back into position so Boufal could try and take it past him again. If he failed to take it past a player, he would fall over and appeal for a foul.

Boufal doesn't isn't hard working enough to fit into RH's plans, he's particularly poor at pressing and tracking back.

I can't imagine how much poorer the team would be if we replaced Ward-Prowse for him.

Dave__C added 11:46 - Apr 16
I wonder if we still have an interest in Pistone Sisto. Maybe some sort of swap deal for Hoet and Boufal would be good. He could be a good fit for the system if RH could get the best out of him.

SaintBrock added 13:05 - Apr 16
I am a huge fan of Sofiane Boufal and always felt that neither Puel nor Pelligrino knew how to get the best from him or indeed where to play him. I was greatly looking forward to his return this summer and a rendez-vous with Ralph and the synergy that might flow from that liason.

Any suggestion that he might be gone permanently is quite sobering but we live in an age where only money matters to the Saints hirarcrachy and the mere scent of a fiver or two coming itheir way for the player will have Kat & Gao salivating at the mouth.

It will be a shame and a huge loss

DPeps added 13:21 - Apr 16
I put Boufal in the Gaston Ramirez category: great talent but not quite suited to his surroundings. In Boufal's favour, perhaps, is that he hasn't had the chance to work with a particularly good manager at saints.

If you look at what Ralph has managed with Redmond, maybe he could do the same with Boufal. I'm more keen for us to get rid of Moi

ericofarabia added 13:50 - Apr 16
I am still in the pro Boufal Camp. Yes he was frustrating at times, but he did make an effort if he lost the ball in my mind. also he has an eye for a killer pass but under the previous managers of slow build ups there was never anybody making any positive runs into space. i'm sure with a bit of good man management from Ralph he would buy into our new style very well indeed. Definitely worth keeping but if he doesnt show a change of attitude pre season then and only then get rid.

BoondockSaint added 15:22 - Apr 16
The difference between Boufal and Gaston was Gaston was a team player.

I often felt Boufal's attitude was he was going to come to the Saints, show off his skills and the Scouse (or others) would swoop in for him. Yes, it would be nice if some tough love from Ralph straightened him out, but I don't see it happening.

Celta know we want his contract off the books and that is why they are looking to renegotiate.


underweststand added 15:46 - Apr 16
Few could deny that those very few goals that Boufal did score were worth the admission fee on the day, for someone who was bought in order to boost our goal count, he has failed ...along with one or two other "big money" signings who are still on the books.

All players do well in a formation that suits their particular style, and although I agree (with those above) that Ralph might be able to turn him around, I seriously doubt that we could expect the sort of "physical input" from him demanded by Ralph's "new style"

Whilst I don't think we should" give him away" we should take the chance to rid ourselves of a long contract, highly-paid misfits, especially bearing in mind that he isn't the only "square peg " on the books at present.

TeamCortese added 21:25 - Apr 16
Boufal is awesome. Any player that comes close to Messi's dribble stats--let alone exceeds it!-- is definitely worth keeping. If you don't think so, then please follow another sport.....

Under a decent manager, he's a game changer...simply as. Ralph should give him a pre-season before cutting our losses.

underweststand added 08:48 - Apr 17
With respect (Nick) this article could have been written about a number of players who we have bought from Euro clubs in recent seasons but who have "failed to deliver ".
Boufal was a good player in a fairly average club who were cash-strapped and glad to get our money in the bank and sold off their best player(s).. (we've heard that story before).

When it comes to putting a shift in the Prem. he was clearly out of their depth, and sadly Moi Elyonoussi looks to be in this category, although IMHO ..the jury is still out on Vestergaard but who does seem to have improved somewhat under Ralph's regime.

The other category is players from big clubs, who had spent much time on the bench and got occasional sub.apps. Lemina and Carillo are typical examples. Presumably they were seen to be eventual replacements for the fast-aging Long and Austin.

Both Shane and Charlie are still here and try gainfully to DAJFU - when fit - but time is against them and we still have the same problems to solve; Attacking creativity in midfield and someone capable of scoring goals on a fairly regular basis.

60 years as a Saints fan has shown me that the "better players" we've had were either "square pegs" at their former clubs but fitted us better, OR were our own youth products who came through the ranks. Although there have been some rare examples over several decades, the vast majority of "big money signings " have been very poor investments and did little to improve the sides they came into.
(Having watched recent MU games, we can see that we are not alone in that area.)

I won't start a list, as I'm sure we could all write our own.
We need to unload a lot of "dead wood " in the summer - even if it means taking a loss-as many are still on long-term, high-salary contracts. Trust in Ralph is the byword.


GeordieSaint added 13:46 - Apr 17
Obviously boufal is an incredibly talented individual. It is just that he can't tackle or head the ball, won't pass it or put in any effort whatsoever in terms of tracking back and wouldn't warm up when told to. Ignore that and he is a world beater.

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