The Forgotten Man Returns To St Mary's
Thursday, 2nd Jul 2020 09:37
A little over three years ago Josh Sims looked to have a bright future at Southampton FC, but that doesn't look the case at the moment as he returns from another loan spell at New York Red Bulls.
It was back in November 2016 that Josh Sims made an explosive debut for Saints in a 1-0 home win against Everton and he looked to have a sparkling future ahead of him, especially after the run and the pass that set up Shane Long for the last minute winner at Anfield in the 2nd leg of the League cup semi final that secured the trip to Wembley.
Sims didn't make even the bench for the defeat to Manchester United in the final, but he looked to have be one for the future turning 20 in March 2017.
The following season saw him only make 7 appearances and for 2018/19 he was loaned to Reading to give him experience, that did not turn out to be a success and he would start only 5 games mainly being on the bench, but on his return to St Mary's in January 2019 he forced his way into the Saints squad and contributed as Saints secured their Premier League safety under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, notably in wins against Spurs and Wolves.
But if Sims thought that this might kick start his career at St Mary's again he was wrong and he found himself loaned out to New York Red Bulls in August 2019, this was odd in that the MLS season was almost over and he could play only 8 games before he returned to St Mary's in October, he was then unable to play until January due to still officially being on loan until January 1st even though it was the close season in the USA.
But if he thought he would figure in Ralph Hasenhuttl's plans he was wrong and he was shipped back to the Red Bulls in February for another loan spell managing two games before the MLS was suspended.
Now he is back at St Mary's with his future uncertain and according to Saints official website he is ineligible to play for the remainder of the 2019/20 season for the club.
So what does the future hold for Sims, with Moussa Djenepo arriving at the club and Nathan Redmond in good form, not to mention Stuart Armstrong able to play wide, his path to the first team seems to be blocked.
He has now entered the final year of his contract with Saints and it seems likely that the club will look to bring in some money from selling him.
Now 23 he must wonder where it has all gone wrong, on the face of it he seems to be a model professional, there does not seem to be any issues with his attitude, but for whatever reason Saints do not seem to see a top quality player in him.
Certainly there are many Saints fans who will disagree with that,, he has been popular with the crowd and his direct running style has won several points for the club in games he has played.
But his critics will say that he is not a starting line up player, more of an impact player off the bench and perhaps he is just too nice a man to truly have that nasty clinical edge about him.
The story of Josh Sims has been a sad one for Saints fans, we all thought that he had that little extra about him that some of his contemporaries did not, certainly he seemed to be able to provide an end product, but he seems to have stagnated by going on loan at New York Red Bulls, a team whose season is not in sync with the Premier League, by going last summer I think he made a big mistake as it meant he would sacrifice most of the first half of the season for just two months potential game time.
He would definitely have been better going out on loan with a UK based club.
By the time he is eligible to play for the club again it will have been 16 months since his last appearance in a Saints shirt, that in itself a 6 minute cameo as sub in the final game of the season in May 2019.
His sojourn in New York has mean't he has been out of sight out of mind and he now has to try and rebuild his career.
Hopefully he can do that as there is a player in there somewhere as we saw three years ago, sadly he has not had much chance since to show his talents for Saints and I don't think that is all his fault.
Photo: Action Images
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