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Southampton Still Looking For Another Central Defender ! Targets In Sight
Wednesday, 13th Jul 2022 21:50

Saints may have signed Armel Kotchap but they are still looking to strengthen in the central defence, although to bring someone in they may have to sell. A potential recruit from Bayern Munich is again under the radar.

At the moment Saints have a lot of quantity in the centre of defence, but the truth is they still lack real experience and leadership, the two senior players in the centre of defence are Jan Bednarek & Jack Stephens, but both seem unlikely to play a significant part in the Saints defence next season.

Jan Bedarek did not seem to be the same player last season and he is being courted by both Leicester City & Napoli, he looks likely to leave and in truth it looks like the best option for both player and club, certainly if we could get around £20-25 million for Bednarek it would be a boost to the transfer kitty.

Jack Stephens is a good club man, a loyal servant and his case is a strange one, it seems he signed a new deal back in the Autumn, but like Alex McCarthy the club chose to keep this quiet despite rumours of the signing.

Certainly the fact that Stephens had signed the new deal before the change of ownership was beneficial to him, but for the club it would be unlikely that with the new owners in place he would have still been offered the deal. Now although being a club stalwart, he is blocking the progress of the youngsters behind him, I would not be surprised to see him on loan.

Likewise Lyanco, he seems destined to leave the club.

But it seems that Saints aren't done in the centre of defence, there are deals to be done outward, but it seems that the club still arent happy in the centre of defence.

The latest name this week isn't new, it is Chris Richards of Bayern Munich, before we get too excited the 22 year old USA International has not played a lot for the German giants, however two loan spells at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga have given his a growing reputation.

A number of Premier League sides, including Southampton, Crystal Palace and Leeds United are said to be interested in signing the 22-year-old this summer.

But is he the man Saints need, we still lack a leader at the back, an experienced organiser who can hold the back line and keep a cool head when the chips are down, in this respect Richards doesn't fit the role.

Whilst we have some very promising central defenders including Mohammed Salisu, Dynel Simue & new signing Armel Kotchap, they are all still learning their trade, they need an influence in their careers, someone who guides them not just on the pitch, but on the training ground and teaches him the lessons they need to learn.

If Saints wake up to that fact then these players will reach their full potential which will benefit Saints not just on the field but will bring in high transfer fees going forward, this is not a neagative comment, but the club's success depends on producing players and selling them on and re investing.

This has worked well, it only breaks down when we sign players who fail to live up to their potential, in some the fault lies with their attitude, but for others it lies with the club, over the last 5 years we have failed to nurture our young central defenders, failed to provide them with the leaders and mentors both on and off the park.

Now that has to change, why have the last two seasons been ones of boom and bust ? the truth is good teams are built at the back, at times in a season we will get away with things and prosper, at others we don't get away with our mistakes, that has to change and it never will as long as we throw 20 year olds to the wolves of the Premier League to tear them apart, they need leaders alongside them !

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JimmyMeliaPhD added 23:52 - Jul 13
You're not wrong that an experienced head in the middle of defence would help, and it would help in developing younger players as well as organizing everyday play. However, that is not the solution to the problem. Even these older and more experienced fantasy players have their own game to play, and in the end it's not their job to be on-field coaches. The solution to this problem, a problem you rightly diagnose, is off the field, it's in the coaching. It's a relief to see that there's some new blood amongst the coaching staff, andf we'll see how that helps or not. But the problem is in the end down to a basically ineffective COACH...i.e RH. I've pointed out before that with the possible exception of JWP, not a single Saints player has greatly improved over his 3+ years of tenure (KWP was already good when he arrived and RH even did his best to screw that up). A good coach improves players. And if he can't improve them, he motivates them to over-perform. RH simply doesn't do that, hasn't done it, and probably never will do it.

Colburn added 00:04 - Jul 14
Wesley Fofana at 19 was one of the best CB's in the league two seasons ago until his injury and they narrowly missed out on the top 4. You can hardly say that he had an experienced partner next to him in Soyuncu that season because he was only 24 at the time.
Salisu is 23 and Lyanco 25 and I don't think you will see us sign anyone older than that. Bednarek could well be off but he will be replaced by someone younger again. It's the club philosophy as you regularly tell us. You also regularly tell us to back the club and manager, berating those who criticise, and then harp on about the club not buying players more experienced as if they don't know what they're doing.. Make your mind up!

Fordy added 07:34 - Jul 14
I would say quite a few Saints players have improved over the last few years. Salisu is better than he was in his first season. Che couldn't score at all in his first year. Could a!so say S Armstrong and Elyonoussi are better. Jan Valery looks better when he plays. I think it's nonsense that none of the players have improved. The issue more is the real lack of consistency, but that's what you get with less than top class players.

saintmark1976 added 10:00 - Jul 14
So basically Nick with just over three weeks to go before the start of the season we are no better of than when we finished last time.

We’ve let our best keeper go to Spurs.

Signed a young player with no English league experience whatsoever in the vain hope he may shore up our woeful defence.

Made no progress in obtaining the service of a striker to augment last season’s forwards who couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo.

Kept a manager who holds the Premiership record for loosing points from winning positions and if last season had gone on for a few games, would probably of gotten us relegated.

Let’s all hope that something positive happens shortly or I suspect that season 2022/23 is not going to make happy viewing for us long suffering supporters.

Monksway added 12:11 - Jul 14
The project players from two years ago have to be our leaders now. Salisu and Adams. If they turned up consistently and joined KWP, JWP, Romeu and Stuart Armstrong in giving consistently solid performances there would be fewer goals conceded and more scored.

IWOZTHERE added 13:40 - Jul 15
A CB leader is essential. How much longer before pig-headed Ralph gets the message..... Salisu, Bednarek, Lyanco, Stephens, Kotchap, Valery, preceded by Danso, Hoedt, Vester, and Yosh. That's ten, all that money and still not sorted. The youngsters need an on-field prompter.

IWOZTHERE added 13:46 - Jul 15
And Lyanco?.... He may be 'bang average', but why sign this sort of player? He's had few chances but now we're going to sell? Doesn't make sense.

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