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Saints Transfer Window ! Good Or Bad
Monday, 3rd Feb 2020 13:47

Before Xmas Saints fans were demanding new signings, but did the run of great results mean that we put the money away and if so is that just a temporary measure.

As we headed towards December we thought that even if we spent big in the transfer window then we would be far from certain of staying up, then Ralph Hasenhuttl transformed the team and suddenly we arrived in January and found ourselves well clear of relegation.

Indeed after beating Crystal Palace and being 9th in the table with perhaps as little as two more wins in the remaining 14 games, I am sure that the club themselves had a big decision to make, do they spend in January when the market prices are over inflated or do they wait till the summer when they can have a better choice and not so expensive.

The mistakes of a couple of years ago when we panic bought Guido Carrillo would have brought a cautionary note as would the fact that we already had four signings of the past couple of years out on loan with a total transfer cost of around £60 million down the drain.

The money wasted since Ronald Koeman left in 2016 has been disgraceful and we have paid the price for that both in terms of the transfer fees but the wages, realistically a club of our size could not take a hit that size with such a big part of the transfer budget blown.

So I think once we hit that 20 point mark with the winning post well in sight, the thoughts were going to turn to next season rather than this.

I still think that this was a little short sighted in that if we brought in Kyle Walker Peters on loan then we could have done the same for a central defender, perhaps they did try but couldn't get the man they wanted, we will perhaps never know as just because we didn't make a signing does not mean we didn't try.

But the end result once the window closed is we shifted more than we brought in with the only signing of note being the aforementioned KWP from Spurs and alongside him a academy player from Chelsea whom it was made quite clear it was purely for the academy nothing else.

Going the other way Cedric Soares and Maya Yoshida went out on loan and this perhaps confirmed that it is next season in our sights and not this, both are out of contract in the summer, so although they are still officially our players, they will not return to the club aside to perhaps pick up any stuff left at the training ground and collect their boots.

Kayne Ramsey also went to Shrewsbury but at 19 and only two first team appearances to his name in all competitions he will not affect the First team.

This means we have an entire team of players out on loan at the moment with 11 of our squad on loan, although in fairness that does include two of the Academy keepers.

This is not a problem we still have a big enough squad and we know that Ralph Hasenhuttl likes to work with a compact group of players and only really makes big changes for the cup games.

But we are taking a gamble that we can win twice or three to be sure and although that looks a simple task it should be remembered that Swansea City went into meltdown a couple of years ago when they looked more than safe, however they took 30 games to get to 31 points and then only got 2 more points in the remaining 8 games to go down on 33.

But I think that we are well capable of getting the points on the board and that we need to do so as quickly as possible now and if we do that then perhaps we can look upwards and even a top 10 position.

Certainly now we have Liverpool out of the way the only truly tough game left for us is Manchester City at home and they seem to be already concentrating on other areas knowing that they can finish 2nd without breaking sweat.

So this was a transfer window where the priorities changed dramatically, yes we would all rather have seen a player or two more brought in, but then again we want to bring in the right personnel not a panic buy.

We are a better squad than last year and even with Cedric and Yoshida gone we are no worse than at any other time this season, indeed Kyle Walker Peters might just strengthen us .

The key is what we do next, firstly that has to be to win a few games of football and then it has to be about getting in the key central defenders we need, the club has shown that they are looking to do that with the departure of Yoshida, they are looking at making sure that whoever plays for us next year is part of the solution, part of the future and that means making this squad truly Ralph Hasenhuttl's and not Puel's, Pellegrino's and Hughes's or even Les Reed's

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janecook added 14:03 - Feb 3
This January Transfer window has been Bad. When more players leave us than come in it must weaken us especially when one of our best players goes. When are we going to get the new central defender that we have needed for over 3 years now?

Rustyhelmet added 14:07 - Feb 3
The Southampton Way - be absolutely clear about what we need, then get rid of more than what we get in and completely disregard our initial requirements. Still only a (hopefully not, but would anyone count against) couple of defeats/injuries away from being dragged back in, but we dont seem to learn.

stmichael added 14:27 - Feb 3
It was a pathetic transfer window.
When the window closes and your squad is weaker than it was on the day it opened you cannot dress it up as anything else.
Pathetic money saving money grabbing from the top with no regards for what happens on the pitch.
I hope RH is ok with it...

arthurfane added 14:31 - Feb 3
It's a risky strategy, but if we don't get any injuries we have enough to get through the season. Given the games we have coming up, top 10 is not an unreasonable aspiration.

The January transfer window was certainly a bit of a damp squib, and I agree with Rustyhelmet that a few defeats will drag us right back in. Jan really isn't the time to be buying though - I will readily criticise the board if we start next season with the same lack of depth and weaknesses in key areas, but think we were right to not react with a knee jerk signing (Carillo anyone?)

saint22 added 14:37 - Feb 3
This has to be one of the most insane sentences ever written here:

We are a better squad than last year and even with Cedric and Yoshida gone we are no worse than at any other time this season, indeed Kyle Walker Peters might just strengthen us

How that we are now a CB less off are we no worse than any other time?? Plus we have let an experienced RB leave and replaced with an untried RB???


Saint4Life247 added 14:37 - Feb 3
Very uninspiring this window. We lose our only experienced RB, our most experienced CB and a versatile defender who we never played in his natural position. Meanwhile Jarrod Bowen who we have been linked with for a while makes the move to one of our competitors. We gain KWP (on loan) as replacement RB but with limited experience we have to hope he hits the ground running and is up for it. Unfortunately if he is sensational then he'll be straight back into the Spurs squad and worth +£40m as we have not added a 'purchase' option into the deal (smh)... and we must not worry about Bowen going to WH because we got Maddox in from Chelsea (On loan with no purchase option... smh!!) with his age and limited experience I have no idea who he is suppose to be challenging for game time. So I can only assume he is here to keep the numbers up.
Come the summer, we will need to strengthen all over the place, which is unlikely.
I'm not a fan of the Jan transfer window but with the way things started this season a strong (not expensive) signing would have shown some intention and helped boost the confidence to get us over the line this year

Block8 added 14:37 - Feb 3
We are short at the back in terms of numbers but our turnaround in form is not purely because we attack better!


the_saint added 14:41 - Feb 3
I really hope in a month or so this window dont come back and bite us on the bottom how can you let 2 experience pros leave even if there contract is running down and not replace them only bring in a inexperienced rb who has only played 4 games for spurs hope I'm wrong and we dont get dragged back into it through the greed of our owner

arthurfane added 14:47 - Feb 3
Saint4Life247 - assuming you're talking about Danso when you say 'a versatile defender who we never played in his natural position'? He hasn't left the club, though I also find it baffling he hasn't been given a chance at CB (at least in one of the cup games..)

As for Bowen; undoubtedly a talented player but I for one would rather the club didn't spend £20m on a player who we simply don't need at the moment. He plays on the wing/up front where we have plenty of good options. If we have that money to burn I'd rather we spend it on defence.

Finally, on Maddox - know nothing about the lad, but it's a loan WITH an option to buy. He's been loaned to the U23s so would assume he's a bright hope for the future and will not be challenging for a place in the first team . . .

StEdmund added 14:55 - Feb 3
Sadly Good for business, offloading Soares etc on loan. Fans are mere consumers nowadays. They are cheering a business making money.

SaintPaulVW added 15:17 - Feb 3
On the face of it it seems like we have squeezed the last bit of money out of Cedric and Yoshi before their contracts end and we get nothing.

Yoshi has barely played for us this year but Cedric has been playing really well. Seems a bit of a gamble for a few million to cash out on Cedric now. Not too sure how likely KWP is to stay with us or how much he is costing us.

At CB this means that JV is now the main reserve and Danso must surely now get a shot at showing what he can do there.

It seems like a gamble. January windows are usually underwhelming. I just hope that work is being done behind the scenes on lining up Summer transfers.

1970 added 15:23 - Feb 3
Of course we are worse off its blatantly obvious even more so when injuries/suspensions kick in
football clubs know each other and what they need so if your desperate and start panicking which clearly saints do then the price will go up regardless of which transfer window it is ,if its done properly ie.. talk to the selling club before the window opens then you wont get ripped off just like livarpool did the moment the jan window opened
they didn't get ripped off unfortunately
so why cant we do that? Its because we are running on bare minimums so if an injury occurs we panic buy
and all talk about saving money are you joking? We wont be getting a massive war chest in the summer it will be one out and one in because all the savings go straight into their pockets with a great big smile on their face

saintmark1976 added 16:13 - Feb 3
The facts speak for themselves. Two experienced international defenders gone. A further defender's loan contract terminated. All replaced by a player from Spurs who most fans had never heard of. Anybody who thinks this was a good window and the team is subsequently stronger is frankly way past and beyond deluded in my opinion.

arthurfane added 16:17 - Feb 3
Why does everyone think Danso's loan was terminated? HE IS STILL AT THE CLUB

halftimeorange added 16:26 - Feb 3
I am frankly disappointed as this looks like ST holders are being taken for a ride - possibly a ride down to the Championship. It would give us some reassurance if we were told that in the summer the club will look at all options and make some funds available for strengthening where it is needed but, no, the board's policy seems to be keeping their mouths shut and their wallets closed. In the meantime, we have to hope that Ralph's tactical nous and lack of injuries keep the Saints somewhere between the bottom three and mid-table however, I don't think that's the level of expectation that most supporters can be satisfied with. Instead of scraps from the table it would be good to be occasionally fed a piece of pie.

schatfield added 17:27 - Feb 3
why dont all you moaning lot support a club that has a bottomless pit of money, im sure that will make you happier. West Ham seem happy to waste money every summer/January. If you dont agree, maybe just be happy with the Southampton way which isnt new and has always been our philisophy

StRipper added 18:51 - Feb 3
It does seem that everyone is determined to be angry, even about things that haven't happened, ie Danso. Maybe we should look at our news sources.
I am no fan of the way our club leadership don't hold themselves accountable to fans. However, so long as Ralph stays past the summer and ideally extends his contract then I'd see that as a sign that things are good and our manager is getting what he wants. It's not like he's with us for the wage over achieving his career goals, as compared to managers now at West Ham, Everton, Spurs etc. You can guarantee if there is anything to be angry, it will be that Ralph leaves with his project unfinished.
The real frustration for me is the pile of shit that Les and Ross Wilson left us with, that we are now finally beginning to clear out. It was always going to take a few seasons to dig us out of that hole and I pity the club we shifted that carpet bagger Ross on to.
As a fan, I'm a bit disappointed we don't have an exciting signing to get behind, but that's all. We're playing well, we have gaps that I hope will be addressed in the summer and we've made some real progress in managing out the dead wood in a respectful manner to have a tight squad to build on. Hell we might even see a few more youngsters establish themselves in the first squad in the next few months. Bring it on.

underweststand added 19:15 - Feb 3
Nick has said ..Good or Bad, I think I'd prefer to say ...surprisisng or disappointing.

Surprising because although I exepected Cedric to go, and see some sort of replacement (Walker-Peters in this case ) I didn't know that Cedric had been "courted " by Arsenal before, (his comment in Arsenal Interview)... so in the end it's Un-surprising, but at least we get "some£hing " from the deal instead of the inevitable ze£o in May.

Disappointing see Yoshida leave -for obvious reasons already potsed on twitter /other sites. Not the very best CB we've ever had, but 100% man, honest and a loyal club man who has faithfully stayed on the bench, yet still has a bit of career left to him..will follow his Sampdoria's results in future.
We still have Vestergaard as cover for JB and JS , and I supppose as Danso is still here he might eventually get a game at CB.. at sometime.?

So not what we expected perhaps, but there is sure to be a massive ovehaul of the squad in the summer...maybe the departure of Vestergaard or Hojbjerg ..and anyone else Jurgen Klopp was impressed with on Saturday, but most of all the long list of "loan-outs" must be addressed..not least Elynoussi, Forster, Lemina, Carrillo, Hoedt and Uncle Tom Cobley..but also the U23 lads who've been around a bit too long and been "fostered out" but never quite made it to the first team squad permanently...Reed, Hesketh, Rose, Sims, Barnes, Johnson ...
WE can only hope that they all stay fit, and some of them start scoring whilst avoiding injuries and suspensions. On my count we have just 15 " regular" players who have any sort of history of game timein the Prem. I hope we've judged it correctly.

SaintStu7 added 20:24 - Feb 3
Can anyone talk about transfers without becoming absolutely blind to the facts in front of them? Both players leaving this window had either refused a new contract or wasn’t going to be offered one. Makes perfect sense to move them on so other players who will be at the club next season can be developed. We have been signing CBs for the last 4 years, admittedly they haven’t worked out but there is a limit to how long a business can go on doing this without moving on some of those players. The squad is already bloated with many out on loan so surely this is a great opportunity for someone to step up. Just a couple of months ago everyone was berating Armstrong, Stephens, JWP, Redmond, Soares, Bertrand, Hojbjerg etc etc etc

ItchenNorth added 22:28 - Feb 3
I don't think we are any worse off following the January transfer window but we should be looking to better our squad. I think we have stood still.
Oh well; attack is after all the best form of defense. We at least now know our game plan !

wessexman added 08:07 - Feb 4
I sincerely hope the transfer guru at the club sit down now and start planning seriously for the next window. We have got to get away from this hovering just above the trap door. If they don't, that very door will open. I also think we could do with at least 3 more wins.

SanMarco added 11:23 - Feb 4
The club has decided we are staying up and has therefore not spent any money. It has also wrung the sponge to squeeze the last drops of cash re Cedric and Yoshi.

Good or bad? If we do stay up then perhaps better to keep powder dry for the summer but I think many of us see the way this is going. That powder may be dry but it won't be spent will it? Our weaknesses in defence need to be addressed by bringing in better players. That is not easy to do on the cheap and, this is an absolute fact, we will be relegated eventually if we don't sort the defence out. Yes we have been defending better as a team in recent weeks but our resources back there are still weak and liable to crumble. If we were to return to our early season form we would be right on the brink.

There is never any point in panicking and buying expensive rubbish (we have been there and done that) but in the end we do need to buy decent defenders, especially CBs.

bstokesaint added 13:23 - Feb 4
Just a thought, but we wouldn't even have to have this discussion if we used the few months at the end of the season effectively. So maybe mugs do pay over-inflated prices, but I'm not sure what's worse being a mug or being so arrogant/greedy that you think you can keep turning pennies into pounds and keeping everyone happy and the club in the PL. We were told we might get 3-4 players in the window to strengthen us. What a load of carp.

underweststand added 17:28 - Feb 4
Most of the above seem to accept it was wise that we didn't "panic buy" ala Carrillo - and providing we survive and can finish mid-table it will be a gamble that paid off.

Buying players (or off -loading them) is best done in the close season when everyone has time to plan, and make sensible decisions without the pressure of last-minute signings against the clock. I think we will see a large turnover in the summer (both IN and OUT) and hopefully give us the finacial stability to invest in the right personnel.

Looking at other clubs around us one can see we weren't the only ones who couldn't resolve their problems in the panic of the last week's trading. As for Danso, KWP and Maddox ....; we have time to decide if they will fit the "Ralph formula " - or we will need to look a lot further in the summer.

davidargyll added 07:13 - Feb 5
I just don’t get some people on here. Southampton may be a football club but it is also a business. And when it comes to buying and selling players - or assets because that is ultimately what they are - they are always the subject of a business decision. Die hard fans may not like it and may assume that any owner has a bottomless pocket out of which he can buy - or hang on to, and/or loan out - anybody the fans want him to is not living in the real world. Cedric was worth £5m to the club at the end of January vs how many more games until he’s out of contract? Half a dozen maybe as he’s currently injured? As the saying goes, you do the math. And getting 11 players off the books temporarily at least on loan is also good business. Sorry love it or loathe it, but that’s the way the world is. And personally I would prefer to support a well run club than one that spends money like water on overpriced players to what effect, eg Fulham.

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