As the window slammed shut on Thursday night, I take a look back at our transfer activity and give my thoughts on how Saints performed in the window.
It was certainly a slow start to the window for Southampton, as heading into August, only one signing had been made; young Polish centre back Jan Bednarek. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one questioning this signing. I assumed he wouldn’t be getting anywhere near the first team and that’s how it’s turned out. A reserve central defender wouldn’t have been a priority for me. Bednarek seems to be one for the future.
Second to join Saints was Mario Lemina from Juventus on the 8th August. This was a signing everyone had been crying out for, as none out of the current crop have quite fit the bill when sitting next to the immovable Oriol Romeu at CDM. Lemina has looked comfortable playing there in his first two games and I can only see his partnership with Romeu growing and strengthening. Excellent signing!
Finally, Wesley Hoedt joined from Lazio for £15m with nine days of the window left. He joins Saints as probably the first choice centre back, dependent on what Virgil van Dijk decides to do. The big question though, has been will he play with Jack Stephens or Maya Yoshida? I would like to see him play with Stephens, who has only got better as he’s played more games. Stephens has been playing on the right side of the Stephens-Yoshida partnership and as Hoedt is left footed, I would expect this to be the case. However, if van Dijk starts playing again, the two Dutchmen would be a fantastic pairing.
Jay Rodriguez left for West Bromwich Albion early in the window, for around £12m. I was sad to see him go, but I’m happy for him. He didn’t get much game time under Koeman, due to injuries and Claude Puel didn’t fancy him. This move suited everyone. Rodriguez needed a fresh start and regular game time, which he wasn’t going to get here. I really hope he finds his feet again for West Brom, which he looks to have done, having already scored this season and put in good performances. He’s a nice chap and I wish him all the luck in the world.
Sam Gallagher departed for a season on loan at Birmingham City. I was disappointed by this as he is different to the strikers we have. He is a target man and I feel we could do with someone like him. He had a great season last season on loan at Championship strugglers Blackburn Rovers and I can see him having an even better one this time around.
Paulo Gazzaniga moved to Spurs. Why?
Last but not least, Jordy Clasie completed a deadline day loan move to Club Brugge, in Belgium. He has been pushed down the pecking order, with Romeu, Lemina, Davis and Højbjerg all being preferred at CDM to the Dutch international. He found game time hard to come by last season, but I thought he performed well when he played. I hope he has a good season.
Where could we have done better?
I was praying for us to sign an attacking midfielder all Summer. This is an area where we lack real quality I feel. Dušan Tadić has become inconsistent when he used to rake up assists under Koeman. Nathan Redmond doesn’t always play well but I feel he gets more stick than he deserves. Sofiane Boufal doesn’t do it and I don’t know why. What we needed was a Sadio Mané type player – someone with raw pace who can just turn it on. As mentioned earlier, I would’ve liked to see us keep Sam Gallagher as a different option up top.
How is Florin Gardoș still here? We could have done with selling him, especially with Bednarek joining. He seems to be the forgotten man at Southampton and I hoped for his sake that he would get a move.
Overall, The signings we made were good, but I feel the team is missing something. It’s now just a case of Pellegrino making the most of what he’s got.