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Is The Grass Greener For Those Southampton Players Who Left In The Summer
Monday, 23rd Oct 2023 11:04

Saints 18 players in the summer, some on permanent deals and some out on loan, here we take a look at how their seasons have gone so far, or is it another case of the Titanic syndrome and they should never have left Southampton.

From the start Saints have made to the season, it would seem that although we saw 18 players go out the door, most of them have not been missed, have posted an interesting article about how they have fared, here we take a look at those who have departed and whether they have actually been missed.

Romeo Lavia

Lavia is a player who we are definitely missing, if he was in our squad then he would dominate the Championship, however he has yet to make his debut for Chelsea, although fit in his early days at Stamford Bridge, he was not picked for any of their squads in any competition, he then picked up an ankle injury and this is now keeping him out of contention and he is unlikely to be fit until December. Verdict: Not greener yet

Tino Livramento

Tino is another who would have been first choice and would have dominated the Championship, however like Lavia he was never going to be allowed to stay at St Mary's by the big clubs, like Lavia he has not prospered at his new club, he has yet to start a Premier League game despite being fit all season, he has just 46 minutes to his name in 4 appearances in that competition for Newcastle, plus a full outing in the League cup. Verdict: Not greener yet.

James Ward Prowse

He played the opening game against Sheffield Wednesday and if he had stayed we would perhaps not have stuttered . He was an instant success at West Ham United and currently has two goals and three assists in 8 Premier League outings. Verdict: Grass is greener in the short term, but will it be in the long run.

Nathan Tella

Another who made a contribution early doors this season for Saints, but was another where a club, in this case Bayer Leverkusen were willing to pay far more than his worth to Saints. In Germany he is yet to start a game in the Bundesliga, he has made just 4 appearances off the bench totalling 40 minutes of action, although he has started two games in the Europa League and scored a goal. Verdict: Not greener yet.

Mohammed Salisu

There is a player in there somewhere, but there may also be an attitude problem. Saints were happy to make a profit on him and move on, at AS Monaco he has yet to make an appearance due to an injury that required surgery. Verdict Grass in not greener.

Moussa Djenepo

Didn't really do it consistently for Saints and they were happy to sell him to Standard Liege, since joining them, he has started all 5 Jupiler League games although he has yet to register a goal or assist. : Verdict Grass is greener.

Mislav Orsic

Never really got much chance at St Mary's and it will be a mystery why it all went wrong given his pedigree and it was best for both Saints and the player that he left. However he has yet to play for Trabzonspor in Turkey having sustained an injury in training to his knee that will keep him out for a while yet. Verdict: Grass is not greener.

Armel Bella-Kotchap

Like Salisu a player who has all the potential and we could have done with him this season, however he did not want to play in the championship as he felt it affected his chances of getting back in the Germany squad and he is the first of our departures so far to have left only on loan, so he will return next season. At PSV Eindhoven though he has not flourished, in the Eredivisie he has started just 2 games plus 1 off the bench. Verdict Grass is not greener.

Another who could have done a job in the Championship, but he chose to go to Lyon on loan with the French club having an option to buy, initially it went well and he started his first four games, but after coach Laurent Blanc was sacked he was dropped and has spent most of the time on the bench, either way he has not played a minute since 3rd September. Verdict: The grass hasn't been greener and it looks like he will be back at St Mary's next season.

Mohammed Elyounoussi

Elyounoussi's contract expired and he never really showed what he could do in the Premier League, although he was never as bad as some would have you believe. He signed for FC Copenhagen where he has scored 4 goals in 16 games in all competitions. Verdict: Grass is greener

Ibrahimo Diallo

Never let Saints down, although being a midfield spoiler some didn't appreciate his qualities, he is another who at Championship level could have done a job. He joined Al-Duhail of Qatar and has done well in the League there so far, starting 3 games and scoring 2 goals plus an assist, which perhaps shows the standard out there. Good luck to him. Verdict: Grass is greener in terms of both minutes on the pitch and money.

Dan NLundulu

Dan was never going to be a Premier League player but got game time, which perhaps shows that our squad last season had more depth than in previous years, he spent the last two years of his Saints career out on loan and in the summer Joined Bolton Wanderers in League one after his contract ended, there he has started just 3 games in the League and another 9 off the bench and is yet to score. Verdict: Grass is not greener at Bolton but he was never going to flourish at St Mary's.

Romain Perraud

Romain Perraud's two seasons at St Mary's saw him as a decent back up, who perhaps played more games than he would have if Tino Livramento had not been injured, however in some eyes he has taken on legendary status due to him not being Ryam Manning. I don't like to run down Perraud, I had nothing against him, but the truth is he didn't fit into Russell Martin's system and had to go, it would have been interesting to see if he would have done any better than Manning. He joined Lyon in France and like Caleta-Car is not getting a game, so far he has come off the bench 4 times and played just 31 minutes of football since leaving St Mary's: Verdict Grass is not greener at Lyon, although he would not have played much at St Mary's this season.


A whole hearted player who did do a job in the Premier League at times, was never going to fit into Russell Martin's possession football style though, after failing a medical at Besiktas, he joined Al-Gharafa on loan in Quatar. started his first 3 games before getting sent off in the 4th. Verdict: Grass is greener as he is getting game time, but would have been better in a top class league.

Matteus Lis

Has never played for Saints, but did play against us for Goztepe whom he joined on loan back in the summer, since then he has started all nine of their Lig 1 matches since arriving, Goztepe currently lie 3rd in the table.

Theo Walcott

Another who could have done a job in the Championship, however after looking at his options after his contract expired at Saints, he decided to retire and take things easy. Verdict: Grass is greener for his quality of life.

Willy Caballero

Put in decent displays over his two years with the club on the few occasions he was called upon as 3rd choice keeper, with his contract up he received an offer to be assistant to Enzo Maresca at Leicester City so hung his boots up to head to the East Midlands. Verdict: Grass is greener with a natural progression to coaching.

Paul Onauchu

A controversial signing who was meant to be the saviour of Southampton last season, some would say he wasn't given a chance and we didn't play to his strengths. Either way he was surplus to requirements this season and he joined Trabzonspor alongside Orsic, has started well there with a goal in each of his first 3 Super Ligue games plus an assist, didn't score in his 4th but 3 out of 4 isn't bad. What happens next season for a player on premier League wages but no club willing to match them and buy him permanently is anyone's guess. Verdict: Grass is greener for

Photo: Action Images

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SFC_Referee added 11:39 - Oct 23
Really I think that for all the players we actually wanted to keep, it’s only really been Prowse who’s done that well and really shone at wherever they joined. But it is still kinda satisfying to hear how a few of the lads that thought they were too good for the championship aren’t necessarily doing as well as they thought they’d be doing, and may of been better off staying with us, which makes you wonder if any regret their moves.
Although I’m especially interred to see how Livermento and Lavia do turn out, as they’re two players who had that potential to be some of the best players for their positions, but as shown so far by their starts to the season, they may have left just a season too early.

WestSussexSaint added 13:07 - Oct 23
A couple of issues with this assessment

1) the assessment is based purely on playing time to date. What about the financial benefit they have received, particularly the first 3 who have moved to PL clubs? Arguably those prevented from playing through injury could have been in the same position at Saints.

2) you have been a strong advocate (rightly) for not judging Russell Martin on his first few games but seem quite happy to pass judgement on the players above over a similar period.

I would also question the judgement on JWP. Yes he has had a good start to his WHU career but one of the key motivations for him moving was to give him a chance of gaining inclusion in the England squad. That hasn’t happened despite his playing well so has the move actually achieved what he wanted from it?

wibbersda added 13:54 - Oct 23
Am I the only one who thought Willy Caballero was utter trash?

AgrellaSFC added 15:10 - Oct 23
Wonder what Bella Kothcap would have been like in the championship. SalisU without the attitude would also have been quality but he seems to be too cocky. Also wished we could have loaned Tino back for the season or even up to Christmas.

Boris1977 added 10:43 - Oct 24
Good to see Ely doing well. An average player who put in the same level of effort as JWP and who the team seemed to like.

I don't think that Perraud was granted legendary status by anyone - he was just one of the bright sparks in a miserable season. Not that RM has stopped trying to break his record of most passes in a team without a win and is playing a much more pragmatic style of football I believe Perraud would have thrived and been a much better option at LB

Tall Paul could have played an important role in keeping us up last season if the management had played direct no frills survival football but it didn't happen and what would have been the point staying up for another season of struggle?

As for the others, with the exception of JWP, not that bothered.

Bowlercow added 13:52 - Oct 24
I am convinced that Tino would have been better off staying here for a couple of seasons He would have Ben an automatic starter and at the end would of had his choice of clubs anywhere in Europe

SanMarco added 17:47 - Oct 24
" it would have been interesting to see if he would have done any better than Manning" - it sure would!!. Perraud has not been granted legendary status - it's just we (nearly) all think he is a lot better than Manning.

I actually don't follow or care what departees do. They wanted to go and they went. Full stop

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