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Southampton Duo Sign Contract Extensions
Friday, 7th Jan 2022 11:44

Saints have announced that two members of their squad have signed deals to extend their stay at Southampton and most Saints fans will agree that it is good news for the squad and a sign that the purse strings will loosen under the new owners.

The biggest deal of the day was Nathan Tella signing an extension to his contract that will tie him to the club until the summer of 2025, the 22 year old has yet to cement a regular place in Ralph Hasenhuttl's side since making his debut when the 2019/20 season resumed in the 3-0 away win at Norwich City.

That was only a 2 minute cameo appearance to run the clock down, but last season he appeared 22 times in all competitions for the club, scoring in a 3-1 win over Fulham at St Mary's.

In those appearances he showed that he has what it takes and excited fans with his pace and ability to take on defences.

This season he has found it harder to get game time, starting in just 5 Premier League games plus another 3 as sub, although just as he had broken into the side and capped it with a superb display at Crystal Palace he got injured that meant he missed the trip to West Ham and then could only watch from the bench for the Spurs game the reduction to 10 men for the sending off of Mohammed Salisu before the break changed the game tactically.

But he is clearly a talent and will surely play a big part not just in the rest of this season, but also going forward.

The second signing is a little bit more low key, goalkeeper Willy Caballero has had his initial one month contract extended till the end of the season.

So far he has played just two games, but the fact that Saints have found it necessary to sign him suggests that Alex McCarthy may be out longer than thought and/or that Ralph Hasenhuttl has lost faith with him.

It could also mean that Saints are looking to sign a first choice keeper if the chance arises in January and that could see one of Forster or McCarthy shipped out on loan.

It does show though that with the acquisition of the club by Sport Republic that the purse strings have loosened, before their arrival the emphasis was on calculated gambles and in the goalkeeping department with Forster and McCarthy jointly on around £140k a week or around £7.5 million a year, the club could not afford to pay for them to be playing for other clubs and subsidising their wages, let along bring in a new keeper for the long term.

With both out of contract in the summer, firstly now we are taking no chances and signing Caballero an experienced keeper we do not want to get in a position that if both suffer injuries again at the same time we are left with no back up, we might not be able to get in an out of contract keeper so quickly if that happens again.

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underweststand added 12:39 - Jan 7
Clearly Tella will get more games - in time - when Shane Long retires /moves / quits.

The Caballero short term deal is a no-brainer. It makes sense with McCarthy still out and everyone trying to stay clear of Covid, when we only have Forster for the no.1 spot.
Harry Lewis has never had a chance at the top spot, and now that Jack Bycroft is hoping for game time with his loan move we are down to the bare bones with goalies.

Nick underlined the point that FF and AM together take a sizeable chuck of the salary bill when considering that (in normal times) one of them is permanently on the bench.
With all three (now 4 goalies) all out of contract in the summer, one might wonder if any of them should be brought back next season?.
If they then don't find new clubs to sign for, we might then look to re-sign one or another - at a " more reasonable " salary level, especially if we are looking to sign "a new face".


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Saints4prem added 12:55 - Jan 7
There have been suggestions that McCarthy had signed a new contract (3yrs) recently but do not know if that is correct. I must admit I was hoping that is not true and we would have a clear out and bring in a really good keeper (Henderson or even Johnstone). I do not think McCarthy is good enough to be a no 1 and personally I would rather have Fraser starting. Great news on Tella though we have some great young players committed to us.
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KriSaint added 13:40 - Jan 8
Two very ok contract extensions.
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