Southampton Linked With A Couple Of Free Agents
Monday, 8th Feb 2021 13:26
The media are linking Saints with a couple of free agents, but do the rumours have an substance and are these players worth a punt, find out all the info here.
The first player to be linked is Jozo Šimunović who has been a free agent since being released from Celtic in the summer, ironically Šimunović joined Celtic in September 2015 as a replacement for Virgil Van Dijk and although the Croatian central defender has had his moments in Scotland he has also been blighted with injury, indeed his first season saw him out for two periods and he played just 11 Scottish Premier League games.
The following season he returned to the side but only after controversy, he agreed terms and passed a medical at Torino, but the deal fell through when the two clubs could not agree a fee.
However he did have a decent season and signed a new deal in the summer of 2017.
But he suffered various injuries that meant he spent more time out injured than available to play and in 5 seasons at the club he managed only 75 SPL appearances.
Truth is on this one I can't see Saints wanting to take a punt on a player who is not an international and has averaged only 15 games a season in the last 5 years, this is surely more speculation and agents talk than anything else. ON the face of it he is no better than any of Saints three central defenders who have played so far this season and a worse injury record than Salisu, who may return to action.
If we could get in experience on a free it would be worth doing but Šimunović does not have that high level experience.
The second free agent linked is striker Ahmed Musa, who apparently was set to sign for West Bromwich Albion after passing a medical, but it is being reported that having made 5 signings in the January window, the Baggies are struggling to find the money to pay him.
He is now being linked with Saints along with Brighton and Burnley as possible destinations.
The Nigerian striker has pedigree, not least two stints with CSKA Moskow, as well as joining Leicester City for £16.6 million in the summer of 2016, but it didn't work out at the KIng Power, he scored just twice in 21 appearances before joining CSKA Moscow for that second stint on loan in January 2018.
He has spent the last two years in Saudi Arabia but was released back in October his time there not being successful.
On the face of it he looks a good bargain signing, but the question is where would Saints use him, they have a number of attacking options including new signing Minamino, truth is that it is hard to see us taking a punt on someone who did not prove himself in the Premier League last time out and woud at best be on the bench here.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
Today we face a trip to Crawley, not usually a venue that bears fruit for the U’s it has to be said. In nine visits we’ve only won once in the league, and once in the League Cup. Of course, we’ll all remember that League Cup victory, indeed many of us were probably there to see us progress through to 5th round and the dream fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford. All of our goal-scorers that night, Luke’s Norris and Gambin, and Cohen Bramall (okay, technically an O.G.), are no longer with us, so let’s hope at the very least that recent departee and subsequent returnee Frank Nouble can bag another like his late equaliser against Mansfield. Steve Ball commented during the week about how tight the league is at the moment, and he’s right that a couple of back to back victories would see us move significantly up the table away from danger – but we’ve got to win them first Steve – something we’ve failed to do since our 1-0 victory at Scunthorpe on December 8th.
Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
Fifty years ago yesterday, Colchester United of the 4th Division pulled off the greatest cup giant-killing ever, beating 1st Division Leeds United 3-2 at Layer Road. Watched by 16,000, and the Match of the Day cameras, Dick Graham’s U’s, a rag-tag band of mostly aging journeymen, defied the odds to defeat arguably the greatest club side in Europe at the time. “The greatest cup giant-killing ever” is a bold claim, and over the years various football magazines and websites have run their own polls of which was the greatest. Whilst that day at Layer Rd always features, as the years have gone by other feats fresher in the memory have been put forward as a candidate – we probably all remember Ronnie Radford’s screamer against Newcastle, Sutton’s exploits, or even Bradford City quite recently at Stamford Bridge – but these pale into insignificance when you pause to reflect on the Don Revie side that we beat that day. Sprake, Cooper, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Giles etc – all full internationals, all household names – the only one missing was Billy Bremner, and that was because he was injured. By comparison, all we had to offer was Ray Crawford – at his peak arguably on a par with some in the Leeds side, but that peak had been ten years earlier playing for Ipswich and England. Eleven heroes didn’t just try and hold out against Leeds United, they took the game to their illustrious opponents with such tenacity, grit and no small amount of flair, and before we knew it, the U’s were 3-0 in the lead. As legs tired, Leeds got back into the game with goals from Hunter and Giles, but we held firm – typified at the death by Graham Smith pulling off an impossible save to ensure the U’s achieved the greatest cup giant-killing ever!
Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
And so the dust settles on another transfer window closing, and despite (my) expectations that the possibility of incoming business was going to be remote, we have instead seen a veritable flurry of activity, with no less than three coming in. Big Frank Nouble, making a very welcome return on loan from Plymouth Argyle, of course needs no introduction. Neither really does feisty Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu, here on loan last season, and this time signed full-time from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee. Actually paying hard cash for someone did come as a surprise, presumably offset by the sale of Cohen Bramall to Lincoln for a similarly undisclosed fee. However, the fact that the Addicks have insisted on not only a sell-on clause, but a rarely used buy-back clause too, suggests (a) Wiredu’s signing fee probably wasn’t too high, and (b) Charlton are protecting those finances with these clauses. The last one, which would have been a complete surprise for me were it not for a contact leaking me the news earlier yesterday, is left-back Josh Doherty on loan from Crawley. Josh was only announced once outgoing left-back Bramall was confirmed, and presumably his loan is directly related to part-time fashion model, TV and radio celeb and former left-back Mark Wright signing for Crawley on a non-contract game-by-game basis in December. We have also released seven from the academy, Ollie Kensdale, Miquel Scarlett, Sammie McLeod, Michael Fernandes, Ollie Sims, Danny Collinge and Matt Weaire, and I’m sure we all wish them the best for the future.
Letters from Wiltshire #30 by wessex_exile
Friday night football – can’t beat it. Gives you that feelgood factor all weekend, sitting back to enjoy a stress-free Saturday afternoon watching others fail in your wake. Of course, you have to win first, which we’ve been struggling to do for a while now, so be prepared for the possibility of a miserable weekend just in case. We share this evening with Reading v AFC Bournemouth, albeit they kick-off an hour later than we do. In the real world, leaders of the UK’s five largest business groups have written to Boris demanding action on the substantial difficulties they are facing over Brexit bureaucracy, whilst French border authorities are reporting that two-thirds of lorries arriving from the UK are empty (i.e. no exports leaving the UK). Still, at least the NHS can enjoy their extra £350m per week…
Letters from Wiltshire #29 by wessex_exile
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