With the January transfer window now open, where will Southampton be looking to improve their squad?
With a potential European place slipping slowly out of their hands, Southampton fans will be hoping the now open January transfer window will bring about some fresh faces for their much sought-after squad. After a mixed start to the season, Claude Puel's side are now looking to add to their side and maintain a charge towards a potential Europa League position, just as they managed to achieve last season.
But where do the Saints side need to improve? We take a look at three key areas Southampton could do with strengthening this month, and throw out some possible names of players they could look to bring in.
Southampton manager Claude Puel
A New Central Defender
With Jose Fonte looking for a move away from the St Marys Stadium, and Virgil Van Dijk impressing, Southampton should target a new central defender in this transfer window. With just Maya Yoshida and Florian Gardos for back-up, Puel will be desperate to make sure he brings in an adequate replacement should he lose one or both of his first choice defenders. Sunderland's Lamine Kone, who has been impressive since he arrived in England, would be a good target as would Ligue 1's Florentin Pogba; brother of Manchester United's Paul Pogba.
Southampton have got plenty of midfielders on their books at the moments, but most tend to fall into the catergories of either defensive midfielder (such as Clasie and Romeu) or attacking midfielder (Boufal and Redmond). With the need for someone who can pass the ball and create space for the attackers evident, Puel may well dip into the market for a new playmaker. With Jonjo Shelvey stuck in the Championship with Newcastle, Puel may look to recruit from a lower division. However, there are options at his Premier League rivals, such as Hull City's Jake Livermore or Swansea's Ki Sun-Yueng.
Swansea City's Ki Sung Yueng
A New Striker
After the long term injury to Charlie Austin and the departure of last season's popular forward, Graziano Pelle, the Saints are in need of a new striker. Needing goals to push them on back up the table, Puel should approach Chelsea for Michy Batshuayi, who has been linked with loan moves this month by Sky Sports. Failing that, Puel may look at the other options the Premier League has to offer, with Bournemouth's Callum Wilson, Burnley's Andre Grey and Swansea's Fernando Llorente all catching the eye.
Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi warms up before the game