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Hasenhuttl Prepared To Let Boufal Go
Sunday, 7th Jul 2019 10:59

Sofiane Boufal spent last season on loan at Celta Vigo after falling out with then Saints boss Mark Hughes, but it seems that he is ready to cut his losses in England for a return to France.

There can be no doubt that Sofiane Boufal is a gifted player, indeed he scored perhaps the best goal ever seen at St Mary's when his last minute run from his own half secured Saints a 1-0 win and ultimately the points that meant that we stayed up that season with a little bit of leeway and without the Swansea would have surely made the last day a little more fraught for us.

But although Boufal's 4 goals for Saints were all spectacular in one way or another the problem is he couldn't find any sort of consistency not seemingly score the simple ones.

He fell out with Mark Hughes virtually as soon as the then temporary Saints manager arrives in March 2018 and only played twice for him, playing no part in the final six weeks of that seasom

Hughes appointment full time saw Boufal go out on loan to Celta Vigo and it seems that even with a change of manager the player wants a fresh start.

In fairness to him, Boufal despite his failures on the pitch has always appeared to be trying and his skills as a flare player were perhaps not suited to the way that Saints had to play both in his first season under Claude Puel when injuries and departures meant we had to adopt a defensive formation to protect a weak centre of defence in the second half of the season and in the second when it was a relegation fight.

Olympique de Marseille are being linked with Boufal and with Saints still having a plethora of players who can play out wide on the books including Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo, Josh Sims, Mo Elyounoussi as well as others able to fill the gap if needed, players have to go and Boufal is way down the pecking order.

Saints will be looking to sell rather than another loan and will want to strike the balance between getting as much of the £16 million they spent on Boufal back, but also getting his rumoured £65k off the wage bill.

A balance might have to be struck here to enable the player to leave permanently as he has to take a wage drop.

With two years left on his contract we have a liability of around £7 million in wages and bonus's payable to him and he has a current transfer value of around £10 million.

Saints have to juggle that and that could mean finding a club who will pay the going rate but offer him less money than he is on now, that being the case Saints could use part of the transfer fee as a sweetener to Boufal to take the drop in wages.

THis could be the solution to the problem, for Saints this summer it is threefold, they not only need to bring in money for incoming transfers, but they need to reduce the squad and wage bill as well.

This being the case Boufal is only one of around a dozen players who Saints would take an offer on, ideally we will get rid of the players like Boufal, Clasie and Carrillo, ie those who have played no part last season, but the reality is that other positions will be looked at and that may see the departures of some players who in different circumstances we would like to keep, ie Mario Lemina whos is part of a six man central midfield pool for three places available.

Photo: Action Images

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underweststand added 11:57 - Jul 7
YES - he cost a lot at the time, and his (few) goals were exciting to watch, but he never struck me as a "team player" but rather sought to enjoy himself by nutmegging opponents when he was on the half-way line rather than in the penalty box.

Clearly a "square peg " who didn't even please (Puel) - the manager who bought him.
Not sure about his understanding of the English language, but clearly someone who can't get to grips with a tactical formation has an uphill task when it comes to team talks.

Would like to have seen him perform under Ralph's regime, but in the short run we should cut our losses, and get this high-earner off the books and bring in fresh blood.


aceofthebase added 11:57 - Jul 7
Is this insider knowledge or guesswork? Many supporters would wish that he was given another chance with Ralph holding the whip-hand. His attitude lets him down but with Ralphs firm leadership he could unlock his huge skills

SaintBrock added 14:30 - Jul 7
Very misleading headline Nick, nothing you've written even remotely suggests that Hutch has expressed an opinion one way or the other on Sofiane Boufal' future at Saints.

He should be back soon from ACON and then all will be revealed.

HythePeer added 16:25 - Jul 7
Hasenhuttl 's speed concept is not much use when teams "park the bus". There is no one like Boufal in the Saints' set-up who can operate in a confined space; I for one would like to see him board.

saintmark1976 added 19:09 - Jul 7
Nick, I appreciate that it's the close season and being the weekend genuine news may be in short supply. However, as SaintBrock points out there is no connection between the post's headline and it's content. Once again can you answer a simple question please, do you have inside knowledge of what is occurring at St Mary's or like the rest of us, are you guessing as to what the owners and management intentions are? Either way it's not a problem but for the record it would be nice to know.

In regard to Boufal if he has no future with the Saints but Elyounoussi has, then it's hard to understand, is it not?


BaselSaint added 11:15 - Jul 8
Incapable of following tactics or directions - get rid.

SaintBrock added 10:58 - Jul 11
Silly boy.

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