A flashback to the start of the 2013 start of season, would definitely bring back fond memories for the fans at St Marys. And why not? Under the able guidance of Argentine, Mauricio Pochhetino, the club showcased serious ambition in the market, roping in three excellent deals. Southampton’s aggressive transfer policy led to the inbound transfers of Dejan Lovren, Victor Wanyama and Dani Osvaldo, each arriving on fat transfer fee checks. The transfers set off the Saints on a consistent strong showing in the Premier League over the past few campaigns, and the club hasn’t looked back since.
A couple of productive seasons later though, the team look is completely different. The south London club has been a victim of talent poaching over the years, with their top quality players being lured out to bigger clubs. Havng lost players like Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren to Liverpool last year, the management has had to deal with an immense out-flux of talent. Even this year, the trend seems to have continued; the club having to deal with a change in their defense, with Morgan Schiederlen and Nathaniel Clyne making the move out of St Marys.
The regular shift in the core of the team has visibly increased the manger’s brows, with club manager Ronald Koeman publicly expressing his anguish to let players leave, in his press conferences over summer. Now with just a week before the transfer window slams shut, fresh rumours have emerged linking two of the team’s regular first eleven players to other clubs. Consolidated reports in England have emerged over the past week linking Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama and fellow team mate Sadio Mane out of St Marys, with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United amongst the suiters, respectively. The reports have intensified over the weekend with news circulating that the Kenyan has handed the club with an official transfer request.
With the Premier League campaign into its 3rd week already, losing Wanyama will be a cause of major discomfort for Dutch coach, Ronald Koeman, all the more because he has already lost one of his better players in midfield in the form of Schiederlen. A complete overhaul in midfield will definitely be hard to cope with, considering that the team does not have much reinforcements, both internal as well as in the market, to add too. In Mane too, the Dutch manager seemed to have found an able runner behind defenses, and a vital focal point to the Saint’s counter attacks last season. The imminent transfer of Sadio to Manchester United will hit the team hard, as they already lack pace upfront.
Wanyama has regularly featured in the list of the top defensive midfield players in Europe, with the 24 year old’s solid positioning and consistent discipline in the field helping Southampton to have amongst the best defensive records in the Premier League last season. The Ex- Celtic man has amongst the top interceptions and ground tackles won statistic in the Premier League, something that the Southampton boss will be unwilling to do away with. However, the official transfer request does make things difficult at St Marys now, with the player unwilling to discuss a new contract amid fresh speculation. The combative midfielder is desperately looking for a re-union with his ex-boss at Tottenham, and it seems the transfer will move ahead late next week. On the other hand, Senegalese attacker Sadio Mane is a relatively new face in the Premier League, but the player’s display in the second half of last season, prompted many top tier clubs to actively declare interest in the player. Manchester United have been the latest team to be linked with the player, with their Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal, left licking his wounds after missing out on signing Pedro to Chelsea last week. This transfer might take uptil the last moment to go through, provided Southampton can find a suitable replacement in time before the transfer window slams shut.
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