Southampton latest: Shock swap deal for ex-Arsenal star?

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. Mary's Stadium...

Southampton will look to put two consecutive defeats behind them as they take on Aston Villa on Wednesday evening. Away losses to Arsenal and Chelsea are understandable, but the Saints gave great accounts of themselves and will look to get back to winning ways at home against Paul Lambert's goalshy Villa side.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has backed his team to overcome the defeats and return to winning form against the Villains, touching upon the immense challenges that faced them in games against Arsenal and Chelsea.

"We don't have time to dwell on our two consecutive defeats because we are only thinking about tomorrow's game," Pochettino said. “All we can do is recover, to get our energy back and try to fix the mistakes we have made in the past to make sure they do not happen again.

"We have lost on two very difficult grounds at Arsenal and Chelsea, so now all we can do is prepare as well as we can for the next game. We will try to impose our values, the way we want to play and get the win over Aston Villa."

Whilst Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez have claimed most of the headlines for the Saints this season, the underrated midfield duo of Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama continue to be key cogs in Pochettino's team. French midfielder Schneiderlin has been on the South Coast since 2008, and says Kenyan enforcer Wanyama is starting to improve after his £12.5m summer switch from Celtic.

"Before I was more used to a defensive role and organising the back four," he said. “When Pochettino arrived, he came to me immediately: 'I've seen videos of you. I think you have the technical and physical capacity to do more offensively.'

"With (Jack) Cork we were together for years so we were nearly perfect - with Wanyama we had to start again. It is better recently and it can only go on improving because he is a very good player, especially technically. It was hard at first for him physically, but it will come."

Wanyama was part of a £36m summer spending spree by Pochettino, and moved to the South Coast along with Lyon defender Dejan Lovren and Italian international striker Dani Osvaldo, who signed for £15m from Roma. However, the latter may already be heading for the exit door in a shock swap deal with Spanish side Real Sociedad. According to Tuttomercatoweb, Sociedad would be willing to send former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela in a swap deal for the former Espanyol hitman Osvaldo.

The £15m signing hasn't found his feet in England just yet, and has been linked with moves back to Italy and Spain for a while now. The potential signing of Vela would be a huge signal of intent from Pochettino and Southampton, who continue to go from strength to strength.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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