Tag Archives: southampton transfers

No. 7 – Incredible Southampton Signing Named 7th Best Of Premier League Splurge

We’ve been asking the fans who they think have been the best signings of the summer. This is your list and this, is your number 7. 

He might have been voted as number 7 in this list, but for me, Boufal could turn out to be the signing of the summer. At £16million he offers incredible value in this market. He is just 22 but has the potential to go all the way, following in Eden Hazard’s footsteps of leaving Lille for the Premier League. Southampton have once again made a shrewd move in the market to seal this deal and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bigger club (once again) come knocking next summer.

It’s a credit to Southampton that beyond the raids set on their team during the transfer window by Liverpool and co., they’ve still managed reformulate their side and hit all the targets expected of them. The challenge could be a little trickier this time, however, with the new Everton boss, Ronald Koeman, swapping the south coast for Merseyside. Claude Puel has come in as his successor, but despite the change at the St. Mary’s hot seat, the traditions of the transfer market have continued.

Liverpool wasted no time in swarming the Saints once more, this time signing star man Sadio Mané for a £35 million fee. In response, Southampton landed Nathan Redmond from Norwich City for £11.5 million, but Puel, meanwhile realising the English winger is not quite up to the standards set by the new Reds man, sees the winger as more of a forward.

Via tactical preferences, a void out wide was opened once more, but the Europa League hopefuls have moved meticulously to get that gap filled in. With a couple of days to go until the transfer window’s closure, Southampton managed to land the signing of Lille winger Sofiane Boufal for £16 million, pinning the Moroccan international to a five-year-deal.

The 22-year-old, who joined Lille from Ligue 2 club SCO Angers in January 2015, scored 14 goals and contributed to a further 10 through assists during his time in Ligue 1. The only midfielder to outscore Boufal was ex-Newcastle United outcast Hatem Ben Arfa, coincidentally under the command of Puel at OGC Nice.

Typically, due to his tricky nature and footballing background, Boufal has drawn comparisons to the likes of Chelsea and ex-Lille star Eden Hazard, as well as the 2016 PFA Player of the Year, Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez. Hazard himself was picked up as a 16-year-old by Puel, so the Frenchman has set a precedent with regards to spotting a quality wide man.

The winger’s arrival gives the Saints to chance to revert back to a more familiar looking 4-2-3-1, with results proving hard to come by so far this season under a diamond midfield. Boufal can play in all of the three attacking midfield positions, providing flexibility; meanwhile his statistical numbers for last season also mix well with those registered by Southampton’s Dušan Tadić, Redmond and the departed Mané.

Of the aforementioned options, only Tadić (71) created more chances than Boufal in the league last season, whereas it was the £16 million man who came up with the most key passes (65). The Moroccan’s shot accuracy also proved superior, as only Mané could match the 11 league goals scored in the last campaign.

Such stats will be a welcome addition to a Southampton side that have fallen on 53 attempts at goal so far this season – bettered only by Liverpool’s 55 – scoring twice. The hope is now that Boufal, initially representing a nice coup for the Saints, can help to translate such figures into three points consistently for Puel’s side and, who knows, follow in the footsteps of some of the Premier League’s most lauded French-based imports.

Gossip: Man City To Seal €50m Deal, Liverpool To Sell Coutinho & Southampton Close In On Signing

The transfer window is now kicking into gear with a couple of completed deals already, Fresh Football will bring you all the gossip and breaking news throughout the busy summer period. We take a look at some rumours that are flying about this afternoon.

Calum Chambers heading back to Southampton (Daily Mirror)

According to the Daily Mirror Calum Chambers is on Southampton’s radar this summer with the club looking to sign the defender on a one-year loan deal. It is being reported Arsene Wenger has been very reluctant to send out his versatile defender, but after rebuffing previous attempts from The Saints to bring their academy product back to St Marys’s, Wenger now feels Chambers needs game time in order to fulfil his potential and take the next step of his career.

21-year-old Chambers showed his defensive abilities recently helping England secure their first Toulon Tournament title since 1994 and more noticeably being picked for the “team of the tournament”.

Wenger is only likely to sanction a move for Chambers this summer if Arsenal sign a senior defender with Medhi Benatia and Kalidou Koulibaly both reported targets for the Gunners.
Chambers, who joined Arsenal for £16 million in 2014, has only played 35 games for the Gunners scoring one goal. The Saints will be very keen on Chambers and his versatility to play right-back, centre-back and even as a holding midfielder.

Arsene has claimed many times he sees his future as a centre-half and now want’s the young defender to gain much-needed experience. Chambers, who is a ball playing defender, is seen as a long-term replacement for Mertesacker, although he has only managed 12 games this season his tackle’s won ratio is incredible managing 2.09 per 90 minutes compared to Mertesacker who managed just 1.06. Standing at 6ft tall Chambers also impresses with aerial duels won after winning 3.39 which is one again more superior to Mertesacker’s score of 2.29. Although Chambers has hardly played his defence score is sublime, scoring a total 22.25 which one again put his ahead of team mate Mertesacker who managed just 14.68.

Arsene sees Chambers long-term future at Arsenal, but without guaranteed minutes Chambers will need a loan move to hopefully fulfil his bright potential.

Laporte set to complete €50million Manchester City switch (Guardian)

According to The Guardian Manchester City are ready to pay the €50m (£39m) release clause in order to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.

Pep Guardiola sees central defence as a priority for City this summer and they are prepared to spend big on Laporte in order to get their man, the French International is just 22-years old and already thought of as one of the best young central defenders in Europe.

Laporte has been ruled out until August with a broken leg and dislocated ankle and will miss the Euro’s with France this summer, but this has not put City off the prospect of signing him.

Laporte has already played over 120 games in La Liga and his impressive defensive abilities have caught the eye of most teams around Europe most noticeably Barcelona, but it is now likely Manchester City will pursue their interest in Laporte and land their man.

Manchester City are still trying to strengthen their defence with question marks constantly raised over club captain Vincent Kompanys long term fitness issues.

Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi have both been brought in by City to toughen up their defence but it hasn’t gone as well as they hoped and both players have failed to really nail down a position. Laporte will be brought in as a hopeful starter for City and if Kompany can stay fit that will likely be the partnership, with Mangala and Otamendi’s futures at the club in doubt.

The likelihood is Laporte will partner Kompany in central defence so we take a look at how the two have compared this season. Something that will impress City is the amount of tackles Laporte has won, manging 1.47 per 90 minutes. His opponent Kompany is not too far behind with 1.06. Aerial duels are a real factor to being a great defender, especially in a tough league. Kompany, who stands over 6ft show’s why he is thought of so highly, winning 85.37% of his aerial duels. Laporte, although he hasn’t won as much as Kompany still shows his aerial presence winning 69.86%. Kompany has been one of the most impressive defenders to grace the Premier League in recent seasons managing to win 58.82% of his total duels which just beats the impressive Laporte (54.19%).

Manchester City look destined to sign their long term target after beating off interested from European giants, the fee being paid will of course raise expectation but Laporte looks destined to fulfil his potential.

 

Philippe Coutinho wanted in Paris (Liverpool Echo)

According to the Liverpool Echo French Champions PSG are very interested in signing Brazilian ace Philippe Coutinho this summer. Coutinho has once again had an impressive season for Liverpool and more noticeably since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival and has caught the eye of PSG with the club ready to pursue their interest this summer.

It is understood PSG have already sounded out Coutinho’s representatives about swapping life in England for France and it is believed Liverpool are also aware of their interest in the 23-year old.

No official approach has been made for Coutinho, but it is certain he is on PSG’s radar this summer as they look to strengthen their squad to compete more fiercely for the Champions League.

Coutinho signed a five-year contract with Liverpool in February 2015 and it is understood Liverpool will fight to keep their playmaker and rebuff any attempts from clubs to sign him. Coutinho has been influential for Jurgen Klopp in the second half of the season and the player himself has found some excellent form with the manager clearly desperate to keep hold of him. The lack of any European football whatsoever at Liverpool next season will make it hard for Klopp to convince the player to stay, especially with the likes of PSG interested.

PSG ace Angel Di Maria has thrived since his arrival in France, after a disappointing spell at Manchester United. Coutinho would certainly be brought in to link up with the delightful attacker. Di Maria has had a sublime season and has been a key player in PSG’s title dominance. He has contributed with 0.81 assists per 90 minutes which is far better than Liverpool’s Coutinho who has managed just 0.23. Di María also comes out on top with chances created with 4.15 which is brilliant; Di María has been one of the most influential wingers/playmaker in Europe this season, Coutinho who has shone in the Premier League has managed just 2.21. The bonus with both of these players is they don’t just help create chances or assists. They also contribute with goals: Di María swoops a clean house once again coming out on top to Coutinho after managing 0.42 goals per 90 minutes which is slightly better than Coutinho who manages 0.36.

Coutinho may not yet be at the level of Di Maria but he is still a top quality player and aged just 23, has time to improve further.

If PSG are to sign Coutinho this summer they will certainly have a fight on their hands, with long-term admirers Manchester City still keen on the midfielder if he was to become available.

 

Report: Arsenal Plotting £17million Swoop For Southampton Ace

Arsenal are reportedly plotting a big bid for an impressive Southampton midfielder, but is he the right signing for the Gunners?

According to a report in The Mirror Sadio Mane is wanted by Arsenal this summer as Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen his attacking options and add more efficiency to his frontline.

Arsenal’s primary concern is to sign a top quality striker this summer, having already completed the signing of Granit Xhaka, but there is also a need for a goal scoring wide man, especially if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Theo Walcott were to leave the club this summer. Mane certainly meets those criteria with an impressive 11 Premier League goals this season. The 24-year-old has played predominantly behind the striker this season for Southampton, but he can play on either wing or even as a striker. Should he join Arsenal he would more than likely play on the left wing.

Arsenal’s wingers have not found the net often enough this season and Mane could help address that issue. He has scored 0.38 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, higher than Walcott (0.33), Chamberlain (0.10) and Campbell (0.30). Mane also has an impressive assist rate of 0.21 per 90 minutes.

Mane would add pace and efficiency to an often too predictable Arsenal attack. His signing would certainly be a good one and probably provide an upgrade on some of the clubs current wide options: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott and Campbell. £17million seems a little cheap considering Mane’s form and the clubs interested, Arsenal would more likely have to pay £20million-£30million to persuade Southampton to part with one of their best players – who is also wanted by Manchester United.

Mane’s shooting and pass accuracy %’s are impressive and more than match up with the Gunners current options. He also takes 2.98 shots per 90 minutes, highlighting his forward-thinking attitude in midfield. Arsenal certainly need to add players capable of making the difference in the final third and the Southampton man is certainly one who can do that.

Mane is only marginally older than Oxlade-Chamberlain and Campbell, and younger than Walcott. Signing Mane would give Arsenal an established Premier League goalscoring midfielder and provide them with a player that at just 24, is yet to reach his peak and has his best years ahead of him.

Reports: Southampton Poised To Make Bids For 3 Quality Midfielders

In recent season’s Southampton have become a real force, after narrowly missing out on the top four this season they will certainly look to add to the squad this summer to make the bigger step. The Saints good season did pay off as they have qualified for the Europa League which will help them attract their targets. We look at who could push them that one step further and qualify for the Champions League.

1 – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

According to the Daily Mirror Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is Southampton’s number one target this summer as the club prepares to make a bid. Southampton are willing to make him their highest paid player and are even prepared to offer him vice-captaincy as they try to win over his services and bring him back to his childhood club.

Southampton are reportedly very interested in bringing ex-academy graduate Oxlade-Chamberlain back to the St Mary’s where he started his career this summer. Chamberlain is thought to be considering his long-term future with the Gunners as he wants regular first team football which Arsenal cannot guarantee.

Chamberlain’s current contract expires in 2018 and clubs have been alerted to this, they feel if the price is right they may be able to tempt Arsenal into selling their winger. It is said Southampton are willing to offer him a huge contract and make him a senior player at the club if he was to re-sign for them.

Chamberlain has suffered a recent injury which ruined his Euro chances is still struggling to hold down a starting role at Arsenal. In a season where Chamberlain has struggled, he has still managed to create 1.83 chances per 90 minutes compared to current Saints winger Sadio Mane’s 1.42. A worry for the Saints is the amount of goals Chamberlain scores, he has managed just to score just 0.10 compared to Mane’s 0.38. As well as scoring goals Mane has also contributed 0.21 assists per 90 minutes which is very impressive – Chamberlain, on the other hand has not registered a single assist this season. The Arsenal man does impress with successful take ons though (70.59%) – Mane, in contrast has managed just 55%.

Southampton will have to beat off interest from several clubs, including Leicester City for his services.

An added bonus for Southampton in their pursuit of Chamberlain is that he will not join another London club out of respect for the Gunners as he has also enjoyed a special relationship with the Arsenal fans.