Jason Puncheon and eight other players could walk away for free at the end of the season if Southampton don’t act fast.
Southampton currently have a list of nine players who have contracts due to expire at the end of the season with one of the most high profile being Jason Puncheon.
Puncheon has been in fine form for the club this season with five goals in 23 league appearances as well as one in the Capital One Cup.
He’s been well used by the Saints’ current boss Mauricio Pochettino so it’s amazing why the club haven’t already secured his future.
What the delay in offering a new deal does, is it increases the attention paid to particular players by clubs that would subsequently be interested in signing them.
If, for whatever reason, the Saints are waiting until the end of the season to offer Puncheon, and other players, a new contract then that is a very naïve way for the club to go about it.
No other English club can approach him while he’s under contract with Southampton which is significant, but it’s more how he takes the contract delay personally.
It means it could be much more difficult for Southampton to retain players at the end of the season because those players will have several deals on the table.
There’s no indication that’s what Southampton are going to do, that’s simply the worst thing they possibly could do.
If the nine players are simply allowed to play for the rest of the season without definitive messages about their future, they can only start to speculate about their role at the club.
The Saints took a very gutsy decision bringing in Pochettino for Nigel Adkins earlier in the season so it doesn’t make any sense why they would change the manager in the middle of the season but not secure the future of key players.
Puncheon has already said he wants to stay at the club beyond the end of this season so what are Southampton waiting for?
Could there be a mass exodus of players at the end of the season? It seems quite unlikely considering the current success the club is having under Pochettino and his style of football.
Saints fans, would you be bothered if Puncheon walked away for free?
image: © mischatuffield