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Saints Still Have Options To Buy An Experienced Central Defender
Wednesday, 7th Oct 2020 17:00

The window might have slammed shut for trading with Premier League and the top European Leagues, but there are still some options to fill that gap at the back by looking at the Championship or players out of contract.

Joe Roden is being chased by Spurs, he can still be bought as Premier Leage clubs can still do deals with those in the Championship, Roden is unlikely to be on Saints radar given his lack of experience but it does show that there are players out there and in recent years several Championship central defenders have made the step up.

But there is also the option of getting in a player who is out of contract, one who would fit the bill is Eziquiel Garay The Uruguayan centre-back would add experience and even goals to a top-half Premier League side in need of some defensive reinforcements. The 33-year-old has won trophies in Spain, Portugal and Russia during a glittering career, but fell foul of the financial issues plaguing Valencia throughout 2020 and was told he could leave in the summer.

Garay played more than 200 times in La Liga, scoring 20 goals in the division and is known for his aerial ability and build-up play. He would suit Saints down to the ground, a quality player although he turns 34 on Saturday he could be a good cheap signing and organise our defence and help them mature.

Likewise Adrian Marriappa , he did turn 34 earlier in the week, released by Watford he t0o would fit the bill, perhaps even more so than Garay, in that he has played 9 seasons in the Premier League in a career in England stretching back to 2005/06 season.

Surely he could help bring on our central defenders.

One who would be known to Ralph Hasenhuttl would be Daniel Schwabb, still only 32 he again might fit the bill, the German has had a long career in both Germany and Holland where he helped them win the Eridivisie in 2018.

These are just a few of those out of contract and we could do worse than take a look at them and who else is around, a few years ago we brought im Marin Caceres who still only 30 looked a good signing, strangely he played only once, looking good in a win at Middlesbrough and going on to enjoy another 3 years in Italy playing for Lazio & Juventus as well as Hellas Verona.

Currently at Fiorentina with year left on his contract perhaps he might fancy a return to St Mary's for some unfinished business like Theo Walcott

Photo: Action Images

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felly1 added 17:46 - Oct 7
I've heard Sampdoria have a 32 year old Japanese Centre Back.
Captain for the national team over 100 caps. Excellent professional by all accounts....mmmm

NYC_Saint added 17:54 - Oct 7
I never understood the Caceres situation - I think he played in the World Cup a couple of years later too.

schatfield added 18:04 - Oct 7
Really? are you really bringing this up again.....

redandwhitedee added 18:05 - Oct 7
Yawn yawn .. was two clean sheets in succession and a new CB signed for big money waiting in the wings not enough for you ?
Give it a rest

erick added 19:14 - Oct 7
This obsession with central defense got to stop. IT'S OVER

sandywelsh added 19:40 - Oct 7
It would be good to get in a new experienced Central Defender. Jack Stephens is an accident waiting to happen.

saintmark1976 added 21:06 - Oct 7
Nick, genuine question. Are you pursuing this agenda because you believe what you continually write or is the reason that it simply obtains more clicks on the site which is of course good news for those who advertise? If the former, all well and good. If the latter please stop.

SaintPaulVW added 21:58 - Oct 7
Even Captain Ahab would blush at this level of obsession.

Keep up the good work.

perazi added 22:23 - Oct 7
You couldn't make a story like this up, could you. Shredding credibility from a thin base.

lemmsy added 22:28 - Oct 7
Previously asked a sensible question, no reply .
Now this bollox,
Hampshire live for me

SanMarco added 22:30 - Oct 7
Nick is right. I agree with him 100% - but he does bang on about it a bit. Is there a person in the country that couldn't write Nick's shopping list for The January window now??!!

If a player that fits the bill is out there he will have many suitors - probably quite a few willing to pay more than us.

derbydog added 08:28 - Oct 8
This obsession is indeed bollox. We had weeks to sign a pensioner centre half, including the ones mentioned if that was a plan. We have decided to opt for the four we have, three of them experienced and one presumed to be promising. Because of our policy of giving academy players hope the plan should be to have a 20 year old with real talent coming up behind these. But we seem to have let two kids go in the last few weeks. Who is next in line? If the answer is no one, then we should be signing a kid from the lower leagues to work up into a first team possibility.

SonicBoom added 09:18 - Oct 8
Have any of you seen us defend?? There is a least one calamity every game and sometimes we get away with it and sometimes we don't. Yes we've had 2 clean sheets but that was West Brom and Burnley.
Nick is slightly obsessed but equally are those that defend the defence. It's clearly been a weak point for several seasons. Two clean sheets don't change that.
Stephens looks like a centre back. Tall, rangy, elegant on the ball - except he gets bullied, he's not great in the air and he loses concentration when marking. Bednarek seems undisciplined and dives in. Both are capable of playing well and at times they both have, but they are too inconsistent and you never know what they are going to do.

Even Yoshida who everyone seems to love, wasn't actually that good. He was here for years but never made himself first choice. None of the managers relied on him every week. And this won't be popular but...
He was never first choice but was a good squad man. no one else came in for him so he knew he was at the best level he could be hence he never wanted to leave. Yes he was a great bloke, and a reasonable squad man, but he did not solve defensive problems. People look back at him now all misty eyed, but let's face it, if he had been really good he wouldn't have been here for ten years.

What I'm saying is that our current weakness is defensively, we're pretty good going forward. If there is a wise head out there that can help why would we not get them in.

aceofthebase added 10:03 - Oct 8
Come on guys let's bring in some championship players or even league 1 or 2. Nick is saying this is a good option , sell our premier players and replace with quality. Hang on that doesn't make sense.

redwight added 10:29 - Oct 8
Top post, Sonic Boom.

PaleRider added 11:16 - Oct 8
This is a sensible article - especially as it doesn't vilify any of our players and is written in a controlled manner. Sonic's reply is also spot on. We probably could do with another experienced head in the centre of defence and there are some decent options out there - who wouldn't want to strengthen the defence further.

RedandWight added 11:52 - Oct 8
No one is saying we have a good defence, a quick look at the stats will disabuse anyone of that notion. 2 clean sheets isn't a run that points towards form, especially against 2 teams that if we are going to beat anyone, its them. There certainly is an argument (made over and over again by some) that a good organiser in defence could make all the difference. Jose Fonte made every centre back pairing work! You only have to consider Dejan Lovren to see that. Those organisational skills normally come with experience. So, Yes, our defence certainly could benefit from a more experienced leader in defence. Although a few names have been put forward we don't seem to have identified anyone or pursued anyone of that calibre.

IWOZTHERE added 12:55 - Oct 8
I get bored with my own arguments re the need for a CB!... We've needed an 'organiser' since Fonte left, but have tried a succession of options (2 for £35m) only to revert to Jack Stephens errors a lot of the time? How we could do with that money? It was accepted that Hoedt wasn't good enough. It was accepted that Stephens wasn't good enough. I've never thought that Vester was good enough despite his recent improvement against lesser teams.
Whoever we use alongside, needs someone with vision and awareness, to read the play and prompt his team-mates to act as attacks develop. Several have moved 'out of contract' It would not have cost a fortune!

davidargyll added 14:03 - Oct 8
We may be looking for a CB but, if we don't get one, it's not as if our defence is any worse than anybody else's, arguably it's better than quite a few. viz the average goals scored per game over the last five years has varied between 2.7 and 2.8211. With 10% of this season's matches having been played, goals scored so far is a massive 144, ie 3.7895 per game. In other words there have been a lot worse defences than us so far in 2020/21...

felly1 added 18:23 - Oct 8
Football has changed a huge amount in recent years.
It's much faster and more skillful. I feel Nick and some of people who feel an old experienced type will solve our defensive issues are living in a bygone era.
One things for certain though, Nick will never let this go... Ever. If you're going to come on this site you just have to get used to him bringing this up over and over again and try to filter it out and enjoy his more rounded and interesting posts in between the "obsession"

SaintBrock added 19:11 - Oct 8
Cloud Cuckoo Land Nick, our business such as it was is done.

mattthelegend added 19:28 - Oct 8
I know there are a few admirers of Fonte, who wasn’t all that bad but he always had decent cover in front of him Schneiderlin and Wanyama and let’s be honest since those 2 left we have had no one decent to speak of.

IWOZTHERE added 11:34 - Oct 9
I thought Fonte was poor and 'weak' towards the end, but till then he was the 'prompter?'

redandwhitedee added 13:04 - Oct 9
Anyone who watched our last couple of games (Even against relatively weak opposition) can see our weakness this season is in the number 10 position. Very little creation/inspiration through the middle. I am hoping Redmond will bring that back but that’s the main weakness for me this season Not CB.
Against Spurs the weakness was Ralph’s tactics.

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Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #08 by wessex_exile
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