Southampton Keen to Sell During January Transfer Window
Currently sitting in the Premier League’s relegation zone, Southampton made a move to try and stave off relegation. Sacking then manager Mark Hughes, Saints moved quickly to appoint former RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhüttl. Given the month of December to evaluate his squad, Hasenhuttl looks set to bring a busy January transfer window to the South Coast.
That said, while many expect Saints to be in the market for more than a few players, Southampton also are set to be one of the Premier League’s biggest sellers. After all, Hasenhuttl recently revealed that Southampton’s first team is much too large for his taste. Also playing a part here is that Saints need to raise funds in order to sign new players.
For the most part, these moves will be welcome ones. With more than a few underachievers littering the Southampton first team, the winds of change feel near. But, exactly which players will leave the club in January remains a mystery. That won’t stop us though. Here are some of the players that Southampton may just sell when the transfer window opens next month.
The current club captain, Steven Davis looks set to make a move back to Scottish giants Rangers in January. First joining Rangers back in 2008 after leaving Fulham, Davis had a great run with the Glasgow-based club. Earning 152 caps during his first stint with the club, Davis proved to be an extremely successful signing for Rangers.
Following Rangers’ insolvency in 2012, Davis departed the club and chose to sign with Southampton on a free transfer. Going on to have a great career with the South Coast club, Davis became a beloved player for the Saints supporters. Remaining with Southampton despite the departure of many big names over the years, Davis eventually became the club captain.
In recent matches, however, Davis has fallen out of contention in the first team. With the 2020 European Championships on the horizon, Davis will definitely be looking to earn first team minutes at the club level. Without a doubt, should Davis choose to rejoin Rangers in an attempt to earn these minutes, he will be given a hero’s sendoff by the Saints supporters.
Rumored to be on the move last summer, Fraser Forster is a major candidate to leave Southampton in January. Once seen as the undisputed number one goalkeeper at the club, Forster has fallen down the pecking order. Conceding his spot in the starting eleven to Alex McCarthy midway through the previous campaign, Forster now finds himself out of the first team and behind summer signing Angus Gunn.
Considering his stature and history as a solid goalkeeper, Forster would provide a solid backup option for almost any top-flight side. There are two things to consider here though. Firstly, Forster has not been the same player since he suffered a broken kneecap at the tail end of the 2014/15 campaign.
Of course, this drop in form plays into the next point which is Forster’s contract. Signing a five-year during the summer of 2017, Forster still has about three-and-a-half years on his contract. Depending on his salary, Saints may be forced to pick up a bit of the tab should they sell Forster, either through a discounted transfer fee or by paying part of Forster’s salary at his new club.
Another veteran of this Saints side, Maya Yoshida may finally find himself on the way out in Southampton. A second-choice option for most of his tenure with Southampton, Yoshida managed to have a decent career with the south coast club. Stepping up when called upon, Yoshida has long been a good filler option for the Southampton backline.
Now sitting with only a year-and-a-half on his contract, Yoshida’s time with Saints looks to be up. Drawing the short straw here despite the struggles of the entire Southampton backline, Yoshida likely presents the most viable sale in January. Rumoured a few times over the years about a return to Japan, Yoshida may jump at a chance to once again play in his home country.
Pairing that with the fact that Yoshida will enter the final year of his contract this summer and you have a player who is likely to be on the move in January.
Finding the net twice in 13 matches this season, Charlie Austin has the look of a dead player walking. Struggling to find his scoring touch and unfit for Hasenhuttl’s high press system, Austin’s future path clearly takes him away from Southampton. The only question is whether or not this move happens in January.
Despite becoming injury-prone since he arrived at Southampton in 2016, Austin still has many suitors in the English game. Possessing size and a striker’s instinct inside the box, Austin could be a beneficial option for sides struggling to convert create chances inside the penalty area.
At 29-years-old, Austin still has a few more quality years in him. Combining this with Saints need to sell at this stage, Austin has the look of a definite candidate to make a move in January.
Finding himself left on the outskirts of the first team, Sam Gallagher‘s return to Southampton has not been a pleasant one. Appearing in only one match this campaign, Gallagher has struggled to assert himself on the south coast following back-to-back years of successful loan spells.
During the most recent summer window, Gallagher was seen as a target for more than a few Championship-level clubs. With this interest likely still intact despite Gallagher’s struggles, the time to sell could be now for Southampton. After all, such a move would be beneficial for both.
For Southampton, the sale of Gallagher would clear the 23-year-olds salary off the books as well as raise a slight amount of money. For Gallagher, a move back to the Championship would give the Englishman a chance to once again prove his worth as well as earn the first team minutes he without a doubt desires.
Rumoured to be heading back to Italy almost since his arrival in 2017, Manolo Gabbiadini could finally be on his way back to his home country. Despite being a fan favourite at St. Mary’s, Gabbiadini has struggled to find the goals since his booming arrival back in January of 2017.
Netting six goals in his first 12 matches with Southampton, Gabbiadini has clearly fallen off a cliff over the last year-and-a-half. Recording just six goals in his last 43 matches, the Italian has clearly lost his touch in front of goal. Also adding to these rumours of a January departure is the Italian’s lack of form for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s system.
Much like Charlie Austin, Gabbiadini does not fit the high press mould that Hasenhuttl likes to run. Lacking the pace and defensive skills, Gabbiadini looks to be surplus to requirements at this stage. With Seria A side Bologna rumoured to be interested in Gabbiadini, now looks like the perfect time for Saints to move on from their 27-year old forward.