Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork formed a formidable partnership for Southampton last season, is Victor Wanyama being targeted to add depth to their squad, or is Mauricio Pochettino planning to drop one of his current midfielders?
Although Southampton left it late to mathematically secure themselves a Premier League place for this season, there was little worry about their status after they recorded consecutive wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Reading as part of a six game unbeaten run from spanning most of March and April.
Their success was built on a core of young players, and at the heart of that is the midfield partnership of Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork. Both 23, Cork and Schneiderlin came together when the English player returned from injury in November, and were key to Southampton’s recovery after a nightmare run of fixtures at the beginning of the season.
Both could reasonably expect to begin next season as first choice, but Southampton seem to be keen to bring in another central midfielder this summer, with Victor Wanyama the latest to be linked with a move to St Mary’s.
There is no doubt that Southampton could use some extra resources in midfield, with the team struggling when either Cork or Schneiderlin was absent, but after his excellent season with Celtic, Wanyama could command a first team place at a number of sides, and the question is whether he would displace one of the Saints’ pair?
Of the two, Cork is more likely to be removed in favour of Wanyama, with Schneiderlin irreplaceable after a year where he won Southampton player of the season. But instead of replacing one of the two, perhaps Pochettino is planning to play all three together in a three man midfield next season.
Having all three in the side would give Southampton plenty of drive and presence in midfield, and allow an attacking three free reign to impose themselves on the opposition.
Wanyama would be an excellent signing, either just to add depth or as a first team starter, but it would be a shame to see the pairing of Schneiderlin and Cork broken up, and having all three on the pitch would give Southampton one of the best young midfields in the league.
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