Saints Announce Departure Of Bertrand, Sims And Hesketh.
Saturday, 5th Jun 2021 09:58
The club have announced those who will not be playing their football at Southampton FC next season with three on the list coming as no surprise but also eight players who now have to worry that their career in professional football may be over at an early age.
The list of those who will be leaving St Mary's is as follows.
The first three on the list will be very familiar to Saints supporters with the final names not so much and all of those last eight will be hoping that this does not mean the end of their full time footballing careers and that they will be able to find clubs for next season albeit lower down the footballing pyramid, but that won't be easy given the financial crisis hitting football due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Top of the list is the most familiar name not just to Saints fans but for all football supporters across the country, Ryan Bertrand needs no introduction having played almost 500 games across the board including a Champions League winners medal at Chelsea.
He arrived at St Mary's in the summer of 2014 initially on loan and then the deal was made permanent in the January of 2015 for £10 million, in his 7 seasons at the club he started 213 Premier League games plus another as sub scoring 7 goals, he also made another24 appearances plus 2 as sub in other competitions.
Looking back Bertrand has had a great career at the club including being a member of the 2017 League Cup Final team and his transfer fee looks a real bargain meaning that not only can he be considered one of the Saints greats, he could also be said to be one of the best transfer deals the club have made.
Turning 32 in August he is nearing the end of his career and no one can really blame him for wanting to get one last move both in financial terms and also perhaps in terms of glory if as expected he goes to one of the top six sides possibly as a squad player.
Good luck to Ryan bertrand and thanks for a great seven seasons at the club.
Nest to leave is Josh Sims and this will divide fans, but the truth is that after a great start back in November 2016 when in the first minute of his debut he crossed for Charlie Austin to score the only goal in the game.
But since then he has struggled to convince 4 managers of his worth to the team and in the 5 years since his debut he has only amassed 4 League starts for the club plus 16 as sub in the Premier League plus 4 starts and 3 as sub in other competitions and sadly no goals.
There were some landmark performances including the game against Everton, not least his through ball for Shane Long at Anfield in the League cup semi final in 2017 and also in a home win over Spurs in Ralph Hasenhuttl's first season, but the truth is these have been few and far between and looking back Sims career went downhill after Claude Puel left, the Frenchman appears to be the only manager who had faith in Sims, of his 27 appearances n total, almost half, 13 to be precise were in that debut season.
Since then he has spent a lot of time out on loan, Reading where he struggled and came back early , New York Red Bulls which seemed a strange one as it meant he was unable to play most of the 19/20 season and finally Doncaster this season where he seems to have found his level.
There will be some out there who will say he should have been offered a new contract, but at 24 he had not made the breakthrough at St Marys and although there have been some good games there were also ones where he failed to make an impact, I am sad to see Sims go, I truly hoped he would make a career at St Mary's, but the truth is his stats are nothing to write home about and if Nathan Redmond had played 26 games with the same stats he would get pelters.
Again good luck to Josh Sims, hoepfully he can now get his career back on track and if he returned to St Mary's as a Premier League player then no one would be more delighted than me.
Jake Hesketh joins Josh Sims as a player who looked to have a great future at St Mary's but for whom it didn't really work out, he made his debut in December 2014 as a sub in a home defeat to Manchester United and then started the game at Burnley a week later, but he left the field after only 32 minutes to be replaced by James Ward Prowse and this would be the end of his Premier League career at St Mary's, he did play two more games for the club though again condensed into a week, firstly scoring in a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace in the League cup in September 2016 and then a week later starting away to Beer Sheva in the Europa League.
But this was the end of his Saints career and he has spent much of the last 5 years out on loan, he would have left far earlier but he was stuck due to a contract that paid him far more than he could get if he had been transferred, no one can blame him for seeing that out and making sure he will be financially secure and hopefully he will not be short of a club or two chasing his signature now he is a free agent.
So good luck to all 11 players who are leaving us this summer at the end of their contracts, their stories are all different, but i wish them all the best and hope that going forward they get what they want out of their footballing careers going forward.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #48 by wessex_exile
“And now the end is near, and so we face the final curtain…regrets, we’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention”. Not quite right Paul Anka, probably more than a few, but otherwise a fair assessment of where the U’s are today. It’ll be interesting to see how we perform with the relegation monkey finally off their back – I’m not expecting miracles, particularly with Tranmere needing at least a point to guarantee making the play-offs, but they’ll certainly be more nervous than we will be, so can we make that count? This will be my last blog of the season, and not yet sure what I may or may not do for next season, but suggestions are always welcome.
Letters from Wiltshire #47 by wessex_exile
Here we are, at the penultimate game of the season, and our last game in front of the cardboard U’s faithful at the JobServe. It has been a long, difficult, and definitely strange season, which frankly I’ll be glad to see the back of. That’ll we’ll be here again in August is definitely going to be something to celebrate, but I suspect we’re facing a summer of significant rebuilding both on the pitch, and possibly off it too. I won’t be the only one, but the biggest oddity for me has been being able to watch every single game – not always easy viewing, but something I’ve never done before, and probably never will again. But it doesn’t really make up for not being there in person, the long train journey away-days, meeting fellow U’s and other supporters, and of course sharing a beer or three. Fingers-crossed we can return to the terraces in 2021/22.
Letters from Wiltshire #46 by wessex_exile
That was quite a week for us all then. In the space of four short but remarkably tense days we have gone from having to take shoes and socks off to check how many more points we need to guarantee survival, or whether we would even achieve it, to breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing we’re almost there. But close of play this afternoon, whether by our own actions or the failure of others, I am sure survival will be confirmed. Of course, Tuesday night not only all but guaranteed it, it also virtually condemned local rivals Southend United to non-league football for the foreseeable. Looking at the host of fully professional former football league sides currently battling it out for the two promotion slots out of the National league (including Hartlepool, Torquay, Stockport, Wrexham, Chesterfield and Notts County), it is not going to be a walk in the park for Southend to return any day soon.
Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though it’s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it there’ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the U’s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that they’ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the U’s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City – still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the U’s will know this too. Whilst I can’t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
[ Vote here ]