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Saints Summer Transfer Window Assessed
Tuesday, 3rd Sep 2019 09:25

With the European transfer window now shut we take a look at Saints summer business in the transfer market.

Overall Ralph Hasenhuttl will feel reasonably pleased with the activity in the summer transfer window, but he will temper that knowing that he still has not addressed a couple of key issues.

The signing of Moussa Djenepo early on was a statement of intent from Saints, it showed that they were not going to be content to sit back in the summer and had targets in mind.

That was quickly followed by making Danny Ings loan permanent and bringing in Che Adams, but then things got tougher.

The problem was two fold, Saints clearly had targets in mind and the manager seemed knew that he was strong in most areas now apart from at the back, but we needed to offload players.

Of course we all know the issues behind this and already some websites are regurgitating twitter comments as headlines, but although it cannot be denied that Les Reed was culpable in some areas, he should also be given credit where it is due, in that of the starting line up on Saturday against United of the 14 players used, only Che Adams and Kevin Danso were not Reed signings, add to that all three subs used and all of the unused subs and it is not a bad record overall, it was just the last year or so of his reign that let us down.

We have to put this all behind us now though, stop moaning about Reed, we can only change the future not the past.

What we were crying out for though was a central defender, one with experience. a leader and the difficulty there was they didn't come cheap, the whole World knew that we needed to sell or at least get money of the wage bill and the issue here was always going to be that our transfer window closed almost a month before the European window,.

This meant that with clubs on the continent hanging on to players till the closure of that window to maximise the price, we were always going to struggle, we did well to get Kevin Danso in on loan, but as good as he may be, he is not the experienced leader we need at the back.

So the incoming dealings were good, but not quite enough, although with players now off the book for the season we can perhaps rectify that in January.

Outgoings again saw some good early business, £17 million for Matt Targett was good money and perhaps shows where the transfer window is at in England, I liked Targett but he was not a completely proven player at this level and certainly not worth that money just yet.

The task though was to offload as many of the deadwood as possible hopefully for a fee, sadly Targett aside Sam Gallagher was the only other player to move for a fee with the rest going out on loan, that was not good, but late on we managed to shift most of the players we needed to albeit not permanently.

With Carrillo, Hoedt, Lemina, Elyounoussi and Forster now all out on loan, that could be as much as £15 million saved in wages this season when some of the bit part players like Harrison Reed and Josh Sims are added and that is not insignificant.

We still have some deadwood at the club and as bad as some will say those who have moved were in the past two years, we should consider why they have found it relatively easy to find a club whilst others stay.

Overall though this is perhaps as good as we could get in this window, the regeneration of the squad cannot be done over night, we now need to have a solid first half of the season so we can improve the squad in January if need be.

WE are stronger as a squad than at any time in the last two seasons, perhaps 2 1/2 since we lost Fonte and Van Dyke through injury, we certainly have the best manager since Ronald Koeman.

Hasenhuttl is committed to the club, he wants to move forward without the baggage from the past with a trim squad all committed to the cause, he has asked the supporters to get behind him and his team, we have to listen to what he is saying, forget the past, stop moaning about Les Reed and those players who have gone on loan and concentrate on the future.

Things have moved forward this summer, not quite to the level we would have liked, but enough to suggest that the future can be brighter than the past couple of years, there will be hiccups along the way, but lets make them just that and not turn them into drama's

Photo: Action Images

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Chesham_Saint added 10:03 - Sep 3
Did we not also get £4m plus for Charlie Austin? Doubly good, as although he did score some vital goals for us this recouped most of the initial outlay and also removed an allegedly disruptive Influence in the dressing room.

Sanguin added 11:28 - Sep 3
It’s relieving to have moved from a policy of buying expensive established players in their mid-twenties on high wages. Too many of them have flopped and left us with burdens that aren’t particularly interested in playing for the club.

For the past few years the club has been buying promising teenagers and we’re starting to see the fruits of that now with players like Valery and Obafemi in the first team. Then we’re investing in promising players under 22 (Adams, Djnepo, Danso) who have the potential to be world beaters. Even if none of these players realise their potential, their salaries won’t be as high and it will be easier to move them on and recoup their cost.

This season is one of consolidation, I don’t think we’ll face a relegation battle and I don’t think we’ll push for the top ten. But with exciting young talent coming through, the future is bright.

Onwards and upwards. COYS!

Jesus_02 added 11:56 - Sep 3
Nick you are of course spot on with your defense of your old friend Les. Also there was over 2000 miles of happy sailing before the Titanic hit that iceberg.

ElSanto added 12:11 - Sep 3
I have faith that a couple of those 5 players out on loan will do well and we will have something to add to our kitty for next summer.

Ideally, it would be Carillo scoring close to 15 goals in la liga (probably the least likely) and Lemina doing well in the Champion's League (he will be doing everything he can to stand out).

Celtic are top dogs in Scotland, so the two players on loan there have no excuses. It's an easy league and Mo will be playing in a team that scores lots of goals.

Fingers crossed the players out on loan help us out.

ElSanto added 12:15 - Sep 3
Carillo close to 10 goals* Not 15!

SaintPaulVW added 13:17 - Sep 3
It is tricky when you are paying a fairly good fee 15m ish for a player plus Prem wages and then look to boost their resale value by them improving further. Costly mistakes are always going to be made.

However it is fairly sobering to note that any profit we made on VVD and probably more besides is now sat out on loan to other clubs.

Unfortunately it probably isn't the case that we are receiving anywhere near the full benefit of their totalwages being covered so a saving of close to £300k a week is unlikely. So all the profit is locked away and there will be a hefty servicing cost on that money to cover too. Not too sure what the alternative is though, so had to be done.

It would be interesting to see an overall profit and loss figure for Les's dealings. I'd anticipate that it was probably close to break even with the big successes and big failures when you include their wages.

As long as we don't go down the Newcastle route and demand that all players have to be a certain age profile before we sign them. Our defence needs a few steady hands and a few older players who can do a job may be just what we need.


BoondockSaint added 14:08 - Sep 3
Clearing out the dead wood will take a few windows-other teams are not going to pay top prices for players they know you want to get rid of.

SaintPaulVW-Speaking of the "Newcastle Way" :

When I watched it a month ago, (skip to the supporter talking at 3:30) I'm thinking, that sounds just like the Saints under Les Reed!"

Hopefully the feeder team attitude went out the door with Les and we will get players that want to play for the Saints and accomplish something in the league.

Boris1977 added 16:32 - Sep 3
Good summary Nick. The most obvious issue saints had to cope with was selling an exciting potentially cup winning team wholesale over 3 seasons. No club could expect to recover from that and it's a miracle we stayed up while constantly rebuilding. Fingers crossed the current board learn from that potentially ruinous excercise.

DPeps added 18:33 - Sep 3
I don't really get how your defence of Reed is valid. Of course the majority of the players who played at the weekend would've been Reed signings... the guy was head of player recruitment for the last 5 or so years!
By the same token we could say that the players who lost 3-0 against Burnley or who nearly got relegated the last 2 seasons were Reed signings.

Anyway, I agree that it's better to move on. A central defender would've been nice, although it'll be interesting to see what Danso is like playing in his preferred position.

Tbh I'm more concerned about our midfield, which Reed once described as one of the best in Europe, or something like that. Without Lemina I think it lacks drive forward.

underweststand added 10:07 - Sep 4
Clearly Che Adams was meant to be the "big signing", but he will endear himself more to fans when he starts scoring goals. His efforts in the Championship are well-publicised, but few players hit the ground running when they move up to the Prem. We need patience.

Djenepo and Danso made a mark from their first games, but they also need to learn that " life at the top" is a bit different from what they have come from. Yellow cards included.

Although not a NEW signing....suddenly Sofiane Boufal looks like the sort of player we hoped we'd bought when he came into Claude Puel's squad. He's showing up more as a real team player and looks set for a long stay if he can sustain the form he's shown so far.

Also not NEW...it suddenly looks like we may have found our new CB pairing. When Ralph arrived Jan Bednarek couldn't even make the bench in a Hughes squad, but has scarcely missed a minute under Ralph's tutelage, and I thought that Jannick Vestergaard "came of age " on Saturday -even if it took a year to do so. He was commanding in defence and scored a goal against United.
Certainly we've seen the sort of performances from these three that we hope to get when we sign new players for large fees.

LoisDeem added 17:01 - Sep 4
For those dinosaurs still insisting on adhering to a blame culture mentality:
Try pointing the finger at Reed when he was allowed to flourish with /under Krueger, but not when he was part of a team prior to that -this may resolve any issues bedevilling you, AND THEN MOVE ON- FFS!
Looking forward: it's hopefully no more than two central defenders at a time, and we have permutations, and footballers on a learning curve to adapt, whether the manager thinks its two, three or five!
Sofiane still needs to eliminate that visible petulance, and channel it through his actual performance, and sometimes pass to his colleagues -then I see a match winner.
Ings and Adams need some goals, so need to move for each other, and the team.
Once everyone's roles become more fluid and flexible, and the shackles of inhibition fall off with the obvious continued improvement available throughout, then everything in Saintland looks better.

SaintBrock added 19:43 - Sep 4
Far too early to assess.

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