Saints Confirm That Alex McCarthy And Jack Stephens Will Stay
Friday, 10th Jun 2022 15:38
Southampton FC have confirmed that both Alex McCarthy and Jack Stephens were offered new terms and accepted during the 2021/22 season, why that was announced when they signed the deal God only knows.
Rumours persisted from October time that both Alex McCarthy and Jack Stephens had signed new deals although for some reason the club did not release this to the press, the only evidence being that McCarthy's agent appeared on a list of those that Saints had paid during 2021.
These deals were tied up before the new owners arrived and also before Ralph Hasenhuttl appeared to lose faith in both players.
Stephens started in the team early in the season before picking up a knee injury, he would make a total of 11 appearances in the team, 6 of those coming before Xmas and after that he would make just 5 more appearances to end with a grand total of just 810 minutes Premier League action.
The season before that he made just 18 appearances, meaning he only appeared in 29 games out of 76 he could have.
You feel that he like McCarthy is rather fortunate that he signed the contract earlier in the season before the new owners arrived.
Having said that although I do not feel that he is a Premier League quality defender, he does have a role to play as a squad player, his issue is really consistency and he can play small bursts of games well, but then his form tails off, he is an ideal man on the bench.
Alex McCarthy as well is a good man on the bench, but he has rarely been first choice for an entire season in his career, either at Saints or previous clubs.
The truth is though, that had they left on free transfers this summer it is highly unlikely either would have been picked up by another Premier league club and that for me is the benchmark.
However the situation is what it is, they can play a valuable role this season from the bench and do provide some experience.
Willy Cabbalero has been offered a new deal and Shane Long is in talks, what this shows is that the new regime are valuing having a squad with some experience in it.
But although I suspect the initial response from some supporters on this news will be one of horror and accusations of a lack of ambition will fly, the truth is we now need to wait and see who will leave and who will stay and more importantly who else will come in.
Last season is touted by some as a disaster, but like the previous season, it held plenty of promise until February time when it tailed off.
What it did show though is that we have the foundations of a decent team, we now need to build on them and that rebuilding is well under way.
Photo: Action Images
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