Saints Set To Tweak Transfer Strategy !
Wednesday, 23rd Dec 2020 09:13
Saints are set to make a few tweaks to their transfer strategy after the success of Theo Walcott a signing that was way beyond the normal parameters that they set when signing a new player for the squad.
Over the past 7 years Saints transfer strategy has been fairly rigid, they look for a certain kind of player, the ideal signing will be in the 21-25 age group, some experience, usually in a European League, talent but yet to really develop it and a hunger to succeed.
Look at our last few signings, Kyle Walker Peters, Moussa Djenepo, Mohammed Salisu and Ibrahima Diallo, the latter two still not tried and trusted at Premier League level.
They seem to have completely ruled out signings of experienced players who have been there and done it.
Whilst this has achieved a degree of success, it has meant that we have not truly achieved levels we should have been capable of.
I'm not referring here to signings that have failed, but the fact that at times we have lacked a leader on the pitch, especially in the centre of the back four.
Even now we still lack that organisational brain in the team, James Ward Prowse leads by example and has grown into the job, but it has taken some time to do so.
But it seems that the signing on loan of Theo Walcott has marked a change in our transfer strategy, maybe it is the influence of Ralph Hasenhuttl, but suddenly we seem to have woken up to the fact that football sides need balance, young players need old heads to guide them and those old heads need young legs beside them.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has recently spoken about how well Theo has done:
"He loves it here, people love him here, and it is a good signing, definitely.
"It is always the same with older players that we must see how fit they are and see how much they can run, how professional they are.
"When you take these parameters for him then on every parameter he is on very nearly the highest level. He is very fit, he likes to run and he is a very big benefit for the team."
"I am very happy that he is comfortable here now and that he is happy to play for us and there is no reason why we should not think about keeping him longer,"
"Let us first go through the season, let's give him the chance to play and the chance to show up and the chance to play consistently at this level.
"But there is no reason why we should not keep him here longer with us."
The message seems to be that too much emphasis has been given to age in the past and this has cost us in terms of leadership and balance on the pitch, but now age is not the biggest factor, it is the ability of a player to meet the parameters set.
This is good news, in hindsight our transfer strategy has worked but some still haven't grasped that the strategy is all about developing these players and selling them on and repeating the process.
But when you sell players on, they are often grown into the leaders of the side and when they go we are left rudderless again until a new leader has grown into the job and this can take a couple of years.
Now the recruitment policy may change slightly.
Saints policy of developing and selling is nothing new, the club has been doing it for over 60 years, Ted Bates, Lawrie McMenemy & Chris Nicholl were all managers who prospered in doing this, but all their teams had one thing in common, alongside youth and hungry talent transferred in, they also bought in experience, usually cheaply, sometimes even on free transfers and these players became mainstays of why we were successful.
Alan Ball & Jimmy Case were examples of this, two players who ruled Saints midfield between 1976 & 1991 al bar a couple of years in the early 80's between them, they weren't the best players, but they organised and lead the side, every side needs that sort of player.
Hopefully now Saints will take the blinkers off slightly, football teams need balance !
Photo: Action Images
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