Who's coming and going at Southampton this summer?
As the end of the season draws ever closer, the madness of the summer transfer window begins. Who will stay at their club? Who will make that big money move to one of the elite clubs? So many questions for every club and one club that is coming to a key time is Southampton.
The Saints have had an impressive campaign in 2013/14, winning over neutrals with their impressive style of play and key contributors such as Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana. Yet, what could potentially happen during the summer? To put it simply, who’s coming and who’s going at St. Mary’s?
One player who may be on his way out is young left back Luke Shaw. A PFA Young Player of the Year nominee and England international at just 18, Shaw has been consistently linked with some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League for the past couple of years. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and now Real Madrid have all had their eyes on Shaw at one point and Southampton stand to make a lot of money from the full back if they decide to sell. Recent reports suggested that Manchester United were favourites to seal a £30 million deal in the summer but these reports seem very premature. Don’t be surprised though if Shaw does leave the Saints this summer especially if the club gets big money for him.
Another man that has been linked with a move away in recent times is Southampton’s other promising full back Callum Chambers. The right back has had a breakout season this year, making 23 appearances in all competitions and flourishing in the Premier League. His form has seemingly impressed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger who faces the prospect of losing his first choice right back Bacary Sagna this summer. The one stumbling block for this to go through is how highly Wenger values Chambers. The Frenchman is notorious for only paying what he thinks a player is worth meaning that Arsenal have missed out on many different players in recent seasons. If Wenger values him at an acceptable level to Southampton then expect to see Chambers become the next Saints graduate to join Arsenal.
Gaston Ramirez was a big money signing when the Saints were promoted in 2012 but the Uruguayan’s impact on the Premier League has been non-existent. There have been reports of Ramirez being unhappy with being left out of the side and with Inter Milan reportedly monitoring the situation, he may be bidding farewell to St. Mary’s in the summer.
Other players that you could expect to see go this summer are ones that you would expect. Record signing Dani Osvaldo had minimal impact in his few months with the club (apart from his punch on Jose Fonte) and, if Juventus don’t exercise their buying option in the loan deal, expect to see him return to Italy or Spain on a permanent basis. Emmanuel Mayuka is another striker who failed to perform in the Premier League and the Zambian, on loan at Sochaux, may stay in France permanently if a suitor can be found.
With the massive rumours surrounding Shaw and the likelihood that a massive bid will come in for him, the Saints will need to find a new left back. One of the options that they are reportedly considering is Liverpool’s Jose Enrique. The Spaniard has had an up and down career at Anfield and has missed most of this season with a knee injury. However, Brendan Rodgers spent last summer looking for a new left back which sent out a big message about his faith in Enrique and it seems that he may be looking that way again after the dismal performances of Aly Cissokho. Enrique may become available for the Saints to take and his Premier League experience and what should be a reasonable price makes Enrique someone that may be making the move to the south coast this summer.
Another defender reportedly on Southampton’s radar is Celtic’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk. Despite having only joined Celtic last summer, van Dijk has impressed for the Scottish champions as he seamlessly slotted into the defence with style. He has Champions League experience with Celtic as well and, at only 22, still has time to learn and improve. Celtic would reportedly be looking for around £10 million for van Dijk which could prove to be too much for Mauricio Pochettino but with a lack of first team defenders, van Dijk could become a must.