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Saints Managing Director Gives Fans January Transfer Window Expectations
Friday, 26th Nov 2021 09:00

Toby Steele who some won't realise is the managing director of Southampton FC has been speaking out on what supporters can expect in the January transfer window, but would he truly reveal the real intentions of the club ? I would say not.

Total Saints Podcast have interviewed the managing director of Saints Toby Steele and part of the conversation revolved around the January transfer window.

Here is what Steele had to say:

“That planning is ongoing now. Certainly, at the moment, we’re relatively injury-free, if there is going to be any activity, it’s going to be very minimal.

“Certainly, if we get injuries between now and the 1st of January, then that could change. But I think Ralph is happy with the squad that we’ve got, it is a bigger squad than we’ve had in previous seasons.

“I would say [to] the fans, I wouldn’t expect much movement. But yeah, fingers crossed we don’t get injuries in the next few weeks.”

This won't excite the fans, indeed it will infuriate some, but before anyone starts jumping up and down we should consider a few things about what Stelle can and cannot say, a s well as what it would be prudent to do.

Firstly no one at a football club will actually reveal their transfer thinking to anyone, least of all fan based websites etc, not to disparage Saints Total Podcast, but it just doesn't happen, likewise the club will not tell agents or the media just who their top targets are until in the case of agents they need to speak to them and with regard to the media if it will help the transfer move forward and in most cases that isn't the case as it alerts competitors for the signing and if that happens the price can be pushed up both in terms of transfer fee and wages.

So what Toby Steele has done here is set low expectations for the supporters and behind the scenes they will hope that they can under promise but over deliver, he is right we have a bigger squad than last year, they know it needs strengthening and they will be working to do that in January, but if they do will depend on several things and they all have to be right.

One for instance would be whether they could move on Fraser Forster and his wages in January, they will hope that they could and that would free up the wages to sign a new keeper. One option they may or may not explore would be Sam Johnstone arriving on a permanent deal with Fraser Forster moving to West Brom, probably on a loan deal.

This is of course pure speculation, but I can do that and Toby Steele cannot.

I have no problem at all with Steele setting these low expectations, I would be more concerned if he went the other way and made big boasts to placate the supporters.

The current board have been more communicative than past boards, but they have to keep most of what is happening close to their chests as any business has to do and that is right.

In the past some of our board members have set big expectations, but when they fail to materialise it causes more problems, so again Toby Steele has not really said anything, but he has set the bar, if something does happen then the fans will be happy, if it doesn't they will not feel so let down.

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PaleRider added 09:04 - Nov 26
Actions speak louder than words!

saint22 added 09:11 - Nov 26
Yeah good strategy, pray for no injuries instead of preparing for the rest of the season and into next
We all know the festive season into Feb screws us every single year as we don't have enough quality so it looks the same again this year

A1079 added 09:29 - Nov 26
My expectations were low any way. They have been for some time.

I never thought for a moment that we would be doing much in the January transfer window.

beynali73 added 09:34 - Nov 26
'Fingers crossed' not a business strategy which many companies would persue.

davidargyll added 09:37 - Nov 26
I think it’s worth looking a little deeper into this. Which is arguably about telling potential buyers about the balance sheet and what the club expects it to look like in the New Year. In other words the Board is promising not to go banco on a humungously overpriced player or two, ramp up the debt and the wage bill and consequently the asking price. So any prospective buyer - which according to Semmens there are a number out there but at least some of whom are not of the most savoury type - will be now aware that the finances are and will continue to be as they have been in the last few months and the valuation of SFC has not altered and will not do so for the rest of the season.
Sounds a good strategy to me and hopefully will nudge one or two into negotiations…

Colburn added 10:36 - Nov 26
He did say miminal, which isn't nothing. He can't really say much more or it would be counterproductive to business negotiations. Never show your best hand.. We know that they are looking at bringing in a new keeper at some point and if an opportunity arises in January, then that might be the signing. Any others will need to settle in and learn the Ralph way before they will be utilised, especially if young..

Crispinmumbles added 12:02 - Nov 26
In other words - sweet Fanny Adams!

Big_T added 12:27 - Nov 26

Great she can play up front with her brother ;-))

stmichael added 12:49 - Nov 26
I honestly don’t think we need anyone.
We have a good enough squad.
We have to perform to our potential and that includes RH.
If this squad struggles then it’s the coaching that’s at fault.
Put bluntly it shouldn’t …

underweststand added 19:24 - Nov 26
Surely no-one really expects Toby to come out and say, we are going to sign x ...do they ?

Saints rarely talk about potential signings, in part because we have limited funds and other clubs with more in the bank would surely take a second look at anyone that we are known to be after.

Despite the ongoing gossip about keepers we have 3 keepers who are out of contract next summer. OK I can't see McCarthy going anywhere, but we ought to get someone else on board in January in order to get used to the club before the next season.
I go along with your comment (Nick) on Johnstone / Forster loan idea it might save us a bit of cash in the short term, and do no harm to Forster's prospects of getting a new club.

Expect to see a few B team youngsters going out on loan and get to play in " the man's game " at L1 /L2 level. We have good cover in most roles but we really need a goalscorer because ..."promising as they all might be "...there is no-one on the books who is a stand-out scorer in the Ings mould.


SanMarco added 11:42 - Nov 27
The January window will be all about Saudi FC and how they spend all their (not in anyway connected with the Saudi state) millions. This may have an impact on us if silly money offers are made for JWP or maybe S.Armstrong (Saudi on the Tyne is a fair bit closer to Scotland then St. Mary's - if he really is homesick as some suggest). Presumably a what he is worth + 30m offer for JWP would be snapped up (and why not?). Then the key question is how we spend it.

Pure speculation of course but then all of these transfer window articles are that anyway, as indeed Nick himself and others above have said. It goes without saying, but given this is Saints, is worth stating anyway, that we musn't sell our best players and then not replace them. Our 'deeper' squad is perfectly capable of starting to look very thin very quickly, even without any sales.


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