After a stellar season for Southampton last term, Dusan Tadic is in high demand and is yet to be handed a new contract by the Saints. Creating 73 chances last season, his second at Southampton, allowed their fans to forget the past times of Adam Lallana’s creativity and enjoy a new Serbian spark feed the likes of Shane Long and the recently departed Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane.
The Serbian flourished under his former manager Ronald Koeman, who’s now at Everton, and has seen a key figure in Sadio Mane leave the club which may give him reason to question the club’s ambition, but under Claude Puel, Tadic seems willing to invest his time in the Saints and potentially sign a new deal. This saga may be one to keep an eye on.
Expected: Staying with Southampton
With a new deal soon to be on the table, according to the Daily Star, it seems Tadic may stay with the Saints next season without the likes of the goal-scoring duo Mane and Pelle. However, Southampton have tied down many other key players including James Ward-Prowse, Fraser Forster, and Ryan Bertrand while are also reportedly negotiating a new deal with Shane Long.
The Saints have a strong core of players, most of whom have agreed long-term deals, and are looking to build on their 6th place finish last term. If he was to stay, Tadic would no doubt form a key part of Puel’s plans, after all, the Serbian was their most creative player last season.
If he was to be at the forefront of Puels’s plans, Tadic would likely fill the playmaker role in the Frenchman’s favoured 3-5-2 formation. Yet English football, three at the back seems to be unsuccessful so it may see Puel revert to his secondary 4-1-2-1-2 formation with Tadic operating the spot at the top of the diamond.
A reported fall-out with Koeman towards the end may be the reason why links between Tadic and Everton aren’t more persistent but there is no denying that Koeman knew how to get the best out of Tadic.
Seven goals and twelve assists last season whilst also appearing in 34 of the 38 Premier League games means Tadic was heavily involved and productive under his former manager and at a club with a new owner in Everton, Tadic could link up with Barkley and Lukaku to help send the Toffees back to where they should be, in Europe.
Koeman, like Puel, operates a 3-5-2 formation predominantly which means Tadic is likely to be operated where he was last season, on the left-side. Yet without a solid secondary striker at the club, Niasse being a poor signing since joining, Tadic could play alongside Lukaku in order to feed the Belgian and create space for his power and pace to score goals.
Long shot: Schalke
With Leroy Sane leaving the German club for Manchester City, Schalke now have a hole in their attacking line-up while also possess a wealthy amount of finance to fill it with. Tadic’s name continues to be linked with the German club who finished in the same respective position as Southampton at 6th. Therefore, Schalke can offer Europa League football.
If Tadic was to join the German club, Schalke would have both the Serbian and Max Meyer supplying Klass-Jan Huntelaar next season. For a club failing to meet expectations, this trio could see Schalke back playing Champions League football next season.
It remains to be seen, however, whether Tadic would be willing to swap English football for a move abroad having now fully settled in the Premier League.
Staying settled at the Saints may be Tadic’s best option as the uncertainty surrounding both Koeman’s spell at Everton and a move abroad may cause a loss of form. Yet, things aren’t so secure at Southampton as the new manager Puel looks to implement his tactics ahead of the start of the season.
As he’s a fan’s favourite, that gives him security at Southampton and he’s likely to feature as a key player next year while reports also suggest a breakdown in the relationship between Tadic and Koeman towards the end of last season may rule out a move to the Toffees.
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