Transfer Focus: Where Southampton need to strengthen

Southampton Football Club

Southampton have struggled to get going since their return to Premier League, with a harsh run of fixtures at the start of the season meaning they have had to play catch up all year.

Who will they look to bring in to help guide the club to safety?

Where the team needs to strengthen

With their defence keeping only three clean sheets all season, the area Nigel Adkins needs to strengthen is clear. Southampton could do with new players across their backline, and a new keeper might also be worth considering, with Akins rotating Gazzaniga and Davies so far due to neither excelling between the sticks. Finally another striker could be brought in to bolster their attack.

Top targets

Southampton might look to address their defensive deficiencies with a triple swoop on Blackburn for defenders Scott Dann and Martin Olsson, along with experienced keeper Paul Robinson. Birmingham’s Jack Butland is another potential option in goal. The young keeper is in demand, but might view Southampton as his best route to first team action in the Premiership. If Tottenham Hotspur are prepared to sell Michael Dawson then you’d expect Southampton to join the chase for his signature. The Saints have also been linked with defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez and recently impressed for his country against none other than Lionel Messi. The Colombian is on loan at Valenciennes from Chilean side Rangers. Brighton’s talented winger Will Buckley is also rumoured to be on Adkin’s radar, but might prove too expensive for a mid season move. In terms of strikers, Celtic’s Gary Hooper has been linked with the Saints, but you’d expect the 24 year old would be keen to stay with the prospect of Celtic’s Champions League matches with Juventus on the horizon.

Likely outgoings

As with many previous transfer windows, Southampton’s biggest challenge in January will be keeping hold of their own talented players, with Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana attracting plenty of interest around the Premiership. Given their own top flight status, Southampton should be able to keep suitors at bay at least until the summer.

Budget

Southampton spent plenty of money in the summer, with Ramirez coming in as the club’s record signing, so funds might be limited in January. That said, as they have a real chance of beating the drop, the chairman might stretch to around £8-10m, and if a player leaves then that could be enhanced.

Predictions

Southampton should keep their stars this winter, and you would expect that at least a couple of new defenders will be signed. There are good players available, and the likely raid on Blackburn for Dann and Olsson could help their chances of staying up immeasurably.

image: © ingythewingy

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