Premier League

Southampton Fans Want Creative Spark Added In January

 • by Tom Bodell
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The cliché whenever a Premier League club changes manager is to be careful what you wish for.

Southampton have gone through more upheaval than most and, after binning Claude Puel in favour of Mauricio Pellegrino, they might finally have lost their touch.

That’s not to say the Saints are impatient. Previous bosses Mauricio Pellegrino and Ronald Koeman were poached by Tottenham and Everton after thriving on the South Coast.

But the decision to part company with Puel, who delivered an eighth-place finish and reached the EFL Cup final in his solitary season in charge, was met with scepticism from those outside the Hampshire area.

Southampton have not been helped by Puel’s fine start at Leicester, which has been in stark contrast to Pellegrino’s first few months in England after moving from Alavés. If the Saints are to salvage anything from this season then January will be key.

In order to get a handle on what Saints fans are thinking ahead of the transfer window opening on January 1, we canvassed the opinion of Southampton fans Cameron Clark from talkSAINTS, Ashley Dinnage from Facebook fan page Southampton FC, Freddie from The Ugly Inside and Matt Markstone from Southampton Dellivery.

Which areas do Southampton need to strengthen in January and why?

CC: God knows, there’s a spark in the team missing.

I would probably say a creative attacking midfielder and possibly a goalkeeper with good distribution are the most urgent things for us when the transfer window opens.

Name three realistic transfer targets you would like Southampton to sign in January and who should they replace in your starting XI?

MM: Theo Walcott would address Saints’ issue of both creating and finishing chances. He would provide competition for Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse for a place on the right flank.

Nicolás Gaitán would also provide competition down the right as he looks for more playing time ahead of the World Cup. His wages and fee would be more in line with what Saints’ current structure than Walcott’s.

And out of contract at the end of the season and having rejected an extension, Dani García would provide compete with Oriol Romeu, Mario Lemina and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in the middle of the park.

What is your number one fear for the January window?

F: Saints’ number one fear would be to be in the drop zone in January. Recent results have been unacceptable by some of the fan base and some think Pellegrino doesn’t have what it takes to keep us comfortably in the top half.

Our activity will also be dictated by the lazy rumours and headlines that will resurface on Virgil van Dijk’s future. We need a fearless attacking forward to drive at players. We haven’t replaced the goals we’ve lost from Graziano Pellè and Sadio Mané.

What would your dream January transfer window look like?

F: My dream transfer window we would bring in a new creative player, a striker and a leader for the changing room. We would also rid of our deadwood, such as Shane Long, as well as players who have consistently not performed or challenged the under performers in our squad.

It does have to be pointed out that youth hasn’t been given enough of a chance this season and that sits with the manager.

Read more of our Southampton content on their page hereWe’d like to thank Cameron Clark from talkSAINTS, Ashley Dinnage from Facebook fan page Southampton FC, Freddie from The Ugly Inside and Matt Markstone from Southampton Dellivery.

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