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Only Three Days To Go Before We Find Out The Truth Behind The Rumour !
Monday, 28th Jun 2021 09:06

On Thursday it will be 1st July and professional footballers around Europe will be checking their bank accounts to make sure their laughably named loyalty bonus has been deposited and then some of them will look to have secured a move away by the end of the month.

The transfer window opens for real on Thursday and fans will find out what rumours of the past two months actually have any substance, although the laws say that you can't negotiate with a player unless you have his parent club's permission, the truth is that it is impossible to police, you can't talk to the player directly, but his agent can talk to whom he likes and who can prove what was said when.

A prime example of this was the summer of 2017 when Virgil Van Dijk was courted by Liverpool behind Saints backs, Liverpool crossed a line as they were so brazen in their approach, but the truth was now out, no matter how hard Saints wanted to keep the player who was under a long term deal, despite refusing to sell him that summer, they knew that player power had now taken over, gone where the days football clubs could simple say no to a transfer request, if a player wanted to go you couldn't keep him.

So by the weekend we should know how serious Aston Villa are about signing James Ward Prowse and even Oriol Romeu, we should find out how serious Liverpool are about signing James Ward Prowse, how serious Tottenham are in Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard, how serious Manchester City are in Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard and a host of other rumoured moves for our key players.

By Saturday we will know whether there is any substance and we will know whether the players themselves want to go.

Social Media will go wild with indignant supporters saying that Saints are a selling club and that they are not going to renew the season tickets they gave up in 2019 or earlier.

But the real truth is that for most of the Premier League and that includes some so called Big Six clubs, the power to hold a player to his contract has long gone, clubs have accepted that, only the supporters seem to still think that ambition is refusing to sell your star player, this is not just a Saints phenomenon, but as I say virtually the whole footballing world bar a few elite clubs.

Spurs fans will find that out when Harry Kane moves to Manchester City and the realisation sinks in that it is no longer a big six, but a big four.

So as i always say, the next two months will not be so much about what we are going to do, but what we are going to do next, players come and go and our success will be based not on holding on to star players, but what we spend the money on when they go.

Some will say that you can't keep doing that year in year out, but the truth is that we have no choice and we are in a better position than most in that we realised that a decade ago and planned for it.

Back in 2014 many took to social media to complain about the sale of Lallana, Lovren, Lambert & Shaw, but the truth is we built a better team, we progressed and we have to keep doing that, because of the nature of the Premier League we will have good years and we will have bad, we just have to make sure the bad years are finishing 15th and not 18th.

Money or to be exact spending lots of it is no passport to success, indeed forget the top four, these days it is no guarantee of finishing in the top 10, it is all about how you spend it not how much.

The famous Black Box at Staplewood was never about finding players for £30 million or above, it was always about scouring the Leagues for those young players that were still under the radar.

We operate in a different league from the likes of Liverpool, they had scouted Virgil Van Dijk for as long as we had when we signed the Dutch defender in 2015, but they stood back and watched as before they signed him they needed to see that he could perform in the Premier League, if he couldn't they wanted to find out that fact with him making mistakes in someone else's team and not theirs, they preferred to have an experienced player at £76 million than get him for £15 million and find out he was a dud.

So here we go again this week, there will be deals that we don't like and deals we do, but remember ambition is not refusing to sell a player, that is just a fruitless exercise these days, real ambition is about setting realistic targets and looking to achieve them and that is all about what we do next !

Photo: Action Images

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wessexman added 09:58 - Jun 28
The issue is not the fact we are a selling club, most clubs outside the top 6 are, but the scale with which we sell our prime assets. IF we were to sell JWP, Romeu, Vestergaard and Ings, the heart will be ripped out of the team. We have done it before and survived. After the mass exodus Koeman managed to perform a miracle. But, this proved the exception rather than the rule. By selling our best players we need to make sure the recruitment is spot on. The incomings since Koeman left have not exactly been riveting culminating in that dramatic evening in Swansea. Ralph has performed miracles by keeping a very average and flaky squad in the Prem. The club are now in the position where they are unable to resist these players wanting to leave as they have previous little to offer. Like you say, we'll see how loyal our players are to a regime which can offer them not much more than a battle against mediocrity.

SaintNick added 11:55 - Jun 28
Saints cant be blamed for a mass exodus, that was just the nature of the situation, we had a lot of players that other clubs wanted at that period and we couldnt do a lot about it with Lallana, Lovren all demanding moves, people also forget that we held fast on a number of players at that time as well

Crispinmumbles added 12:11 - Jun 28
The real problen for me is whereas previously the proceeds were reinvested with mixed results, I don't belive much would be reinvested at all given the current financial status. JWP is a very important player for us and it would cost a lot to replace him with a player who brought so much. I just don't understand his detractors.

WestSussexSaint added 12:49 - Jun 28
I disagree that clubs like Saints cannot refuse a move if the player wants to go. They can and have the right to keep the player based on the contract they have in place. The reason Saints and others don’t is either a financial decision I.e can they afford for that player to walk out in x years time for nothing or a squad harmony one I.e do they want player x sitting around not putting the effort in or creating mischief with the rest of the squad.

I’m not saying Saints need to say to every player they want to keep that you stay as long as we want you too and if you don’t give 100% you will rot in the reserves. However if they had shown a little more backbone in one or two instances that would have sent a clear message to all players and other clubs that the deal has to be right for Saints in order to sell.

Ali_Diarea added 17:24 - Jun 28
The problem we have is that we can’t offer our star players a reason to stay at the club. They must look round the dressing room and know that the quality of the squad won’t improve until one or two of the best players have been sold to release funds. In that case a move to a club like Villa would look attractive.

We are forever treading water, and this comes down to the owner, pure and simple.

underweststand added 16:02 - Jun 29
I write the following (regretably) as a dyed in-the-wool Saints fan of more than 60 years.

IF...JWP is intent on leaving I for one would not deny him the chance of a top 6 move...
Rather as Lallana (who left in similar circumstances) Prowsey has given half of his life to Saints, and reached the top of our particular tree and ended up as captain of a side whose greatest distinction is that we avoided relegation 2 seasons in a row ..or was it 3 ?

His skills are much publicised, and admired by many (except the England manager).
Free-kick specialist extraordinaire, played over 300 Saints games and every minute of two complete seasons and has clocked more distance than any other Prem. player.
In many respects he has already DAJFU many times over.

He ranks very high on many lists - is it any wonder that he is likely to move whilst in his prime (goodness knows he deserves it), and with Saints also in a generational change, there are several clubs who would benefit from his skills, and (as if it mattered) pay him double what he gets at present. He might also play CL football on a regular basis, as well as getting the international recognition he obviously deserves. JWP has achieved all this - NOT because he doesn't play for a BIG club, but despite it.

It hurts me to admit, but he really is too good for our present set-up. Ralph has some major short / longer term planning to do PDQ. Ings and Vestergaard will walk away for nothing in 2022, (or perhaps before ) and with Bertrand already out of the door, and the last of the "Reed / Wilson bad buys" nearing exit, the Saints line-up may look very different next season.
I would love to see JWP stay with Saints, it would be an insult to his talent if he were forced to stumble along with for the next 4 years of uncertainty. He deserves better.
I only hope that an eventual transfer would reflect his true value - especially with "talents" like Grealish and Rice being quoted at £100 million fees (!). but knowing how the transfer market works we may not get anywhere near that.

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