Southampton fans will have seen this summer before, Liverpool come knocking with a substantial offer for one of their star players and in turn the Saints reinvest a portion of that cash in order to attack the spots for European qualification.
The latest instalment of the growing relationship saw the Reds swoop in for Southampton’s Sadio Mané for £34 million back in June of this year, meanwhile new boss Claude Puel has wasted no time in welcoming Nathan Redmond, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Alex McCarthy and Jeremy Pied to the St. Mary’s Stadium for little less than what they received for the Senegal international.
Puel hints the summer shopping won’t end there, stating: “We will see if there is an opportunity or not [to add to the squad].” But who might Arsène Wenger’s protégé have in mind? Here’s Fresh Football’s pick:
1 – Theo Walcott
The Arsenal winger was steadily growing into the unique player he had always promised to be before his anterior cruciate ligament injury side-lined him for approximately 11 months. Walcott’s woes were soon followed by pelvic and calf problems, whereas poor form upon his long-awaited return has subsequently displaced him from Arsenal’s XI.
The Gunners are now reportedly ready to approach the likes of Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler and Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, which in turn should mean that Joel Campbell and/or Theo Walcott become surplus to requirement at the Emirates Stadium.
Walcott may well have the greater amount of soul-searching to do, so what better place to do so than at home? Fears over the fitness of Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin could see Southampton dip into the transfer market once more before August 31st, keen to replace the 22 goals amassed last season by high-profile departures Mané and Graziano Pellè.
Redmond has entered the equation as a potential striker option for the Saints this season, but old boy Walcott is sure to offer greater assurances in front of goal, meanwhile Wenger has a vested interest in seeing Arsenal’s number 14 return to his habitual form. An ambitious loan move could well make sense, here.