Transfer Deadline Day Is Here But Who Will Be In Or Out At Southampton
Tuesday, 31st Aug 2021 09:02
The final day of the summer transfer window is upon us and it could be a busy one, but it is likely that there will be more out's than In's with Saints having got their business done early this summer.
As we hit the final day of the transfer window Ralph Hasenhuttl will be quietly pleased with the business he has done so far, 8 signings for the new season albeit that one in Theo Walcott was here last season on loan and the 8th signing Armando Broja is himself a loan deal.
The Austrian manager will feel that his squad now has a depth that it has lacked last season and that the fact that Saints managed to get some major earners off the books who had not played for the club in almost two seasons or more has freed up wages that can now be used on bringing in players who can contribute, something that he has had his hands tied on for the past two years.
But is his business into the club finished this window or will there be a surprise 9th signing ?
Certainly Ralph thinks there may be a surprise although Evening Standard football writer Jack Rosser believes that Southampton are done in the transfer market, although bizarrely the article also seems to omit Adam Armstrong from the list of signings claiming that it is only 7 that Saints have signed.
So if there is a surprise it is being kept close to Ralph's chest, he has suggested that he feels that there is a need for another central midfielder with only JWP, Oriol Romeu & Ibrahima Diallo specialist in the centre of midfield.
But he does have some back up there with Will Smallbone on the road to recovery and also 17 year old Ryan Finnigan highly rated in the B team, older Saints fans will remember how a teenage Steve Williams burst on to the scene in 1976.
Strongest rumour here is Ryan Christie from Celtic who is being linked with both Burnley & Bournemouth.
Personally I would still like to see a central defender coming in, the defence was still shaky at Newcastle and lacked organisation, we need an old head in the squad who is perhaps not going to play every game, but can mentor our youngsters in the back line.
But aside from this it is hard to see other positions that we are weak in, we have options now in every position and I think that although Saints have some money left in the transfer pot and scope to pay the wages, that they will keep it in the coffers for January when they may start to consider their goalkeeping options.
But there could be a lot more movement going out of St Mary's and the first rumour is not a good one for Saints fans, Stuart Armstrong is rumoured to be unsettled and want to return to Scotland, the only good news on this is that it does rather limit his options in that there are only two clubs who could afford him and being an ex Celtic man it rules Rangers out and leaves only a return to his old club as a viable option.
If that were to happen then it could be likely that Ryan Christie could form part of the deal, although Ralph has already stated that Armstrong is going nowhere and is merely suffering a minor injury at present.
So hopefully the only departures will be fringe players and it looks like first out of the door will be Yan Valery who it looks like will be heading to Greece and joining Olympiacos on a season long loan.
That looks a good option for both the player and Saints, Valery has gone a little astray from 2 1/2 years ago when he looked a real talent, but a season away from the club may help him find his form again, at Newport County he looked happy to be in the team again.
Another player from back then who looked likely to succeed was Michael Obafemi, but he too seemed to be going along the wrong path off the pitch and has struggled to get back into the side.
His path is now blocked by a plethora of attacking options and he is right down the pecking order, he seems likely to join Blackburn Rovers although several other yet to be named clubs are also said to be interested.
These are likely to be the only two out of the door although there could be a youngster or two loaned out, Caleb Watts for instance looks a good prospect but the re emergence of Moi Elyounoussi has pushed him down the pecking order, it could be the club would like to see him out on loan to get some experience.
All in all this season at least Saints cannot be accused of waiting for deadline day before completing their signings, without doubt there are still weaknesses in the squad, some might be filled already, perhaps Lyanco is the man to sort out the defence and others like a goalkeeper might have to wait.
But we do in terms of numbers already have a bigger and more diverse squad than last season, but the answer we will need to find out is whether Danny Ings 12 Premier League goals last season can be replaced, either by Adam Armstrong and the early signs are good, or by the depth of the squad meaning that more goals will be chipped in from other areas of the pitch.
Photo: Action Images
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