Southampton should make a statement and move for Ritchie after losing another star

Southampton's Saido Mane scores against Liverpool

Southampton will struggle to replicate their high finishes from the past two seasons this campaign, as they continue to sell their best players.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie in actionBournemouth's Matt Ritchie in action

Sadio Mane was sold from Southampton to Liverpool yesterday in a deal believed to be worth around £34 million, as reported by Sky Sports.

Over the past two years the Saints have become a selling club in every sense of the term, flogging their prized assets for large sums of money.

Ronald Koeman achieved wonders in guiding the south coast club to sixth place last term, but now he has also left for pastures new.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie applauds the fans after the game Matt Ritchie is the target of many Premier league clubs

There must surely come a time when the hierarchy at Southampton want to kick on and make even more progress than they already have done.

To do this, they must start to keep their best players but also invest heavily in the playing staff.

A fantastic option for them would be Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie. He has been heavily linked with a move to West Ham United, with the Hammers believed to have had an £8 million bid rejected, as reported by The Telegraph.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie in action Ritchie would be the perfect acquisition for Southampton

With the sale of Mane complete, the Saints should make a move now for the Scotland international. His creativity and impeccable delivery into the box would comfortably fill the void left by the Senegal international. 

Ritchie's style would suit the way that Southampton play, with a target man as the focal point of their attack. His expert vision and direct passing style would ensure that Shane Long and Graziano Pelle have plenty of service to feed from.

The 26-year-old made 37 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth last term, and managed four goals along with six assists, and it could be argued that by playing in a team like Southampton, with better players around him, those figures could easily increase.

The fact that Bournemouth and Southampton are fierce south coast rivals could prove troublesome, but with the Saints cash rich, they have the ability to really test the Cherries resolve. A lot would depend on whether Ritchie himself would be keen on a move to a rival club too, although he would be enhancing his career prospects by making the switch.

Signing the Bournemouth man would provide a much needed boost for the Southampton fans, who must be so frustrated at continually losing their best talents.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie celebrates scoring their first goalShould Southampton move for Ritchie?

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