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A Satisfying Transfer Window For Southampton. Part 1 The Outgoings
Friday, 3rd Sep 2021 09:32

Now the window is firmly slammed shut we can now take an objective look at the incomings and outgoings of the last three months with objectivity and feel that it has been a satisfying transfer window, albeit on that at the moment we have to be cautiously optimistic.

Saints squad last season was notoriously thin on the ground, a casual onlooked would have concluded that if we judge the Saints youth system on how many were close to making their first team debuts that it must be in a healthy state, the reality was that the squad was reduced to the bare bones by injury and suspension till its lowest point at Manchester United were we even ran out of youngsters and had to have two goalkeepers on the bench, some would say if only we could have played them both at the same time.

So this transfer window was always going to be about not only replacing those leaving, but also getting some depth into the squad.

Most of the transfers out were players who had played little part, they fell into two categories, youngsters who had played some part in the first team under Ralph Hasenhuttl but were not likely to make a total breakthrough so out went, Callum Slattery, Alexandre Jankewitz, Tyreke Johnson, Jake Hesketh and to a greater extent Michael Obafemi.

Between them they had 1 Premier League start, Jankewitz's 1 minute debacle at Old Trafford and 5 appearances off the bench.

The next group were those on big contracts, out went Mario Lemina (He's an under achiever, as the song should have gone) Wesley Hoedt & Angus Gunn, none had played a Premier League game last season and only Gunn in the past two seasons, the transfer fee's raked in were a loss on that paid out, but it was still around £15 million, but more to the point we made a saving of around £150 k a week in wages on the three, that just about £8 million a year.

Finally there were the three players who played regularly last season, Ryan Bertrand was the first out on a free transfer, he had a capable season, but little else, he started 29 Premier League games, but at 31 his edge had gone and it has to be said his enthusiasm, he was still a talented player at times, but he was not the player he was a few years back.

This time last year Jannnik Vestergaard was 4th choice central defender, he had rarely impressed in his two years at the club and when linked with a move away the most used phrase was "I'll drive him there myself", he came back into the team in the third game and looked a different player, he too started 29 Premier League games, but on reflection for 12 of the games he looked to be a good player until his injury in December, when he returned in February he was back to the old Vestergaard, perhaps our opponents had sussed the diagonal ball and the late arrival into the penalty area for a Ward Prowse corner, but he wasn't the same player.

The last of the trio was the most missed, Danny Ings, the prodigal son who returned home and then broke our hearts by leaving again, as Ralph Hasenhuttl so eloquently put it " Players do not want to be club legend's anymore"

Perhaps the thing that hurt the most though was the fact that Ings did not leave for glory, he clearly left for money , Saints report ably offered him £100k a week making him the highest paid player in the club's history, yet it wasn't enough.

If he had left for one of the club's in the Champions League as he had allegedly agreed with the club that he would only do, then you could have understood it, indeed even if he had gone to Spurs or Leicester or even to a lesser degree West Ham then you could have understood the lure of a club in European football and with a chance of chasing a top six spot for the coming season.

But he didn't he left for Aston Villa in a move that happened so fast that it took not just Southampton FC the club itself by surprise, not just the fans but his team mates themselves.

But is Aston Villa about chasing glory or about chasing money, sadly from the outside it appears the latter, in today's Premier League if you are not one of what where the Big Six, but now the Big Four plus Spurs, Leicester & Arsenal, you have little chance of actually winning anything.

The clubs like Everton or now Aston Villa who are spending big ultimately are still light years away from competing, even getting into the top 10 is a lottery, Villa are like Saints one of a middle ground pack in the Premier League of 10 clubs, at the top chasing 7th with the hope that like Saints in 2016 & West Ham last season perhaps squeezing into 6th is a rare possibility.

But at the bottom of the 10 it is the polar opposite, hoping that you can stay out of the relegation fight, Aston Villa are a better bet this season for a top 10 place, they have some money, but after that their odds of winning something or even a top 6 place are not much better than Saints.

So what really hurt is that Danny Ings could have been a club legend, but at the end of the day he preferred money.

But back to the overall transfer window and Ings aside we have not lost anyone that really was part of the future.

But we have lost a lot of players who were part of the past and in doing so saved a lot of wages, even the loan players were costing us money, it is not about looking back and saying that Lemina for instance cost us £16 million and we sold him for £5 million, it is about getting rid of deadwood and saving wages.

This outgoing transfer window was about getting some money in and shaving money off the wage bill, this we did, it is of course hard to gauge how much, transfer fees are not disclosed and nor are wages.

But I would say the stats for the outgoings are roughly this

Players out = 11 ( First team players from last season out 3)
Transfer Income - £65 million
Wages Off the books - £380k a week or around £20 million a year with bonus's

So overall a great piece of outgoing business, it would have been better to have kept Danny Ings, but we have to now look forward, last season Ings Started 26 Premier League games plus 3 as sub scoring 12 goals, that is the benchmark that Adam Armstrong needs to achieve. If he does that then Ings departure will be viewed next summer as good business.

As I always say "It is not about what has just happened, It is about what you do next"

Last season partenership between Danny Ings and Che Adams yielded 21 goals in the Premier League, if they can both match that or more then it could be a very good season.

The outgoing transfers were a successful half of the transfer window last summer, a clearing out of those who had contributed nothing, a departure of a player who at 31 we had seen his best days, £15 million back for a player who had played literally 12 great games in 3 seasons and losing only one that truly would make a difference this season.

Photo: Action Images

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davidargyll added 09:48 - Sep 3
I don't think any of us would deny you are putting a fairly rosy gloss on our tranfers out, even though, from a purely financial POV, they all made sense - and I include Danny.
Presumably Part 2 will talk about the incoming players, where we have had to take several punts, ie betting that not only will the new boys be no worse than what we have sold but will actually augment the squad. This is different to previous years because we have tended to buy and sell a handful each year as opposed to almost double that this year.
But the most important factors in all this are that all the new boys bed in well, are comfortable in the squad and especially are happy to live in the Southampton area, with all the pressure that moving involves.
I think if half of them come throught, then that will be a real result and a 'teens place in the PL is in the offing, but if only one or two do, the Championship beckons...

Chesham_Saint added 10:07 - Sep 3
Your summary of Ings is spot on. Clearly he is not the man we thought he was. In reality, just a shallow mercenary and the extra money he receives for the next year or two can never buy him the respect and affection he would have had had he stayed. He’ll have a long time being retired to ponder that…

saintnige added 11:21 - Sep 3
Not sure I agree about Danny Ings. Having reached retirement age, i recognise that life as a professional footballer is very insecure and short lived. Peak earnings are about ten years and that means you have to provide for your future which may be even more insecure andcomes with no guarantees of employement/earnings. Anyone who thinks that being a club legend outweighs the chance to secure your and your family's future needs to take a hard look at themselves.
Even Ward-Prowse has allied being a legend with the opportunity of becoming a millionaire every ten weeks. Danny Ings is 4/5 years further into an already injury-raddled career and will never have the chance to regain those earnings.
I would have liked him to stay (I've been a saints fan for 56 years now -- feels like longer) but recognise his reasons for going - the 'playing for bigger club/trophies/european experience stuff is just guff anyway.

Colburn added 11:39 - Sep 3
I think that's a fair summary and a good window of outgoings. I agree with you in respect of Ings, it's not like we were asking him to stay for free! All this about final contracts and looking after his family etc doesn't wash with me. The fact he wanted a bit extra and was prepared to either drive 250 mile round trip each day, be away from his family, or upsticks and move them has come as a surprise given we offered him everything we could and he hinted money wasn't the sticking point. Indeed if he stayed may have had a job for life with the club or a better chance of future employment in the game as prospective employers like loyalty. Maybe he doesn't really love the game or his hometown club. I'm sad to see Oba go and wish him the very best. Bertrand was not the same player and the Danish deodorant couldn't really defend as required and was worked out by oppos. Don't know about Lyanco but all incomings have been excellent deals by the looks of it. Just need a new keeper and backup no.6 (maybe Finnigan). Well done Saints, better squad overall this season.

SaintNick added 12:02 - Sep 3
Saintnige- you seem to be under the impression that in his injury raddled years Ings was not getting paid, he would have been on his full salary and bonus's, he might have missed out on any performance related bonus, but in the main he would have picked up his £80k a week at Liverpool.

The only time a players earnings are affected are if they have a career ending injury, so you can understand a younger player wanting to get as much in as he can, but in the case of Ings who is now 29 if he had signed a contract at Saints it would have been for about £5 million a year rather than the £6.25 million at Villa, so his decision was it about getting an extra £3.75 million over 3 years or becoming a Saints legend.

Billeewithers added 12:05 - Sep 3
If 100,000 a week isn’t enough ..... piss offski. He was more injured than playing and we need committed players.

felly1 added 14:20 - Sep 3
My feeling is yes Ings went because Villa offered him an extra 20 grand a week but he may also have felt Villa are a club on the up whilst we are giving the impression of a club trying to just hang on in the Prem, fingers crossed the young guns turn out to be good players and then sell them at a profit. Personally I think Ings was a very ambitious and driven character and we couldn't match that ambition.

saintmark1976 added 14:30 - Sep 3
Far too early to call any part of the window satisfying Nick,unless of course you are referring to the club making a profit of £25 million as suggested by Sky and others. Perhaps you would have been better advised to have kept your powder dry until at least Christmas before making a judgement given that we’ve only played three Premiership games to date?

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