Saints Getting back To Basics In The Transfer Market.
Friday, 22nd May 2020 09:37
If we take a look at where Saints have succeeded and failed in the transfer market over the last decade then a pattern emerges, when we spend big we often spend badly, but that looks set to change.
Over the years going right back to Ted Bates in the 1950's Saints success has been built by finding those players in the transfer market with a hunger and a desire to succeed rather than spending big money.
The problems only seem to arise when we go for so called big signings, when we returned to the Premier League in 2012, big signing Jay Rodriguez was a success at £6 million, as where more modest purchases Steven Davis and Nathaniel Clyne, but when we splashed the cash on Gaston Ramirez and then ditched Billy Sharp for Mayuka, we were less successful.
The following year we blew £15 million on Dani Osvaldo and a pattern was emerging.with Dejan Lovren at £8 million turning out to be good business.
In 2014 we had our fire sale, we spent the money well, mainly on players who had a point to prove like Ryan Bertrand or unknowns like Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle.
The problems arise when we have money to spend and spend big, not surprisingly football supporters want to see big signings and not player they have never heard of and I have said this many times, a club like Saints can spend £30 million, but they won't get a £30 million player.
Look at the money we have wasted over the past 4 years, from Guido Carrillo to Moi Elyounoussi Mario Lemina , Jannik Vestergaard to Sofiane Boufal, these 5 players have seen a transfer outlay of around £90 million, yet they have delivered very little.
I haven't even mentioned the likes of Fraser Forster or Wesley Hoedt who have given us some value for money or Angus Gunn, Moussa Djenepo or Che Adams who have not yet had the time to show us decisively either way.
A club like Saints cannot spend that amount of money on signings that fail and still have the money to bring in new blood, the problem they have had now is that these players are preventing us moving on until we get in some money in transfer fees and wages off the payroll.
So we have to get back to basics and every indication is that we are doing just that, Les Reed was successful for a while and should be given credit where credit was due, but for some reason he took his finger off the pulse and perhaps believed his own hype.
When we upped the transfer fees as I have shown we have generally not got value for money, when we have spent around £10 million and even less we have got in some great players, Nathan Redmond, Jan Bednarek, Pierre Emille Hojbjerg,
Some players are seen differently, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Nathan Redmond still have their critics, whereas Manolo Gabbiadini enjoys great status due to his two goals at Wembley, take away those goals and the 4 he got in his first 3 Premier League games and you have a striker who would score only 7 times in his remaining 48 league appearances, although the goal at Swansea was priceless.
The Southampton Way was never about paying out big money, but discovering the up and coming players and bringing them on, then selling them on and keep repeating the process, some don't like to hear it, but it is the only way we can compete.
Our struggles have been because we have veered from the track and followed the lead of clubs who spend big but just get overpriced players who are chasing money not glory.
On one hand it is worrying to here Hojbjerg talk about big clubs and winning things, but that is the type of player we want, players who fight for ou shirt because they want to play at the highest level, when have you hears Mario Lemina say that, the only thing he wants at the highest level is his bank balance.
So it is good to look at the players that Saints are now being linked with, not the big club fringe players like Lemina and Carrillo, but those succeeding for the lesser clubs in Europe, those who have forsaken the prestige of a big club preferring game time elsewhere.
The latest to be linked is Paris FC prospect Noe Masevo in the sights of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side according to FootMercato, we can also add a Ligue 2 midfielder to Italy U21 international Gianluca Scamacca, Porto centre-back Diogo Leite and Strasbourg powerhouse Mohamed Simakan, as well as several other players with a little more experience who have made their mark and are now ready to move on to the Premier League.
Perhaps we won't always get it right, no club ever does, these days it is about your ability to absorb failures and move on to the next signing and for Saints at the moment we are limited in what we can do because of the dead wood still on the books.
Hopefully this summer we can get some of those out permanently, then we can get back to doing what we do best, buying selling and buying again.
Some say we are a selling club, that is wrong, what we are is a Trading Club, we need to keep selling to keep buying and moving forward, when the selling stops then we are in trouble.
Photo: Action Images
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