Sep 1A Guide To Southampton FC Prospects 2012-2013
A Guide To Southampton FC Prospects 2012-2013
Southampton FC are now back in the big time of the Barclays Premier League after two successive back to back promotions. After seven years in the wilderness they are now back in the Promised Land. Being away has been a good exercise in many ways as the fans of the club have now had a comprehensive look at the majority of English football in just three years, going from League One to the Championship to the Premier League.
Manager Nigel Adkins has got plenty of financial backing to overhaul his squad with big money being made available through the late Markus Liebherr and his family. Much of the money is ‘safe’ as it has been put into shares rather than loans, as happens at many others clubs, so there is nothing to pay back.
Chairman Nicola Cortese has done plenty of transfer business to strengthen the Saints squad.
In the days between the start of the season with 2 early defeats and the close of the transfer window, Saints have added Zambian International Emmanuel Mayuka (striker) from BSC Young Boys for an undisclosed fee, Japanese International Maya Yoshida (center back) from VVV-Venlo for £2.0 million and Gaston Ramirez from Bologna for a club record fee of around £12.0 million. Cody Cropper, a young goalkeeper previously with Ipswich Town has joined the club after a trial as the third choice keeper.
Stalwart midfielder from the promotion years, Dean Hammond has returned to Brighton on a season long loan as has well liked striker Billy Sharp to Nottingham Forest on similar terms.
All those figures are from various reports I have seen and I have no privilege to the actual figures from inside the club itself.
Gaston Ramirez (Bologna) £12.0m
Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) £7.0m
Emmanuel Mayuka (BSC Young Boys) Undisclosed
Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace) £2.5m
Paulo Gazzaniga (Gillingham) £2.5m
Steven Davis (Rangers) £800,000
Maya Yoshida (VVV-Venlo) £2.0m
Cody Cropper (Unattached) Free
Artur Boruc (Unattached) Free
The squad looks stronger on paper than last season but there are still doubts about the weakest looking area in central defence. That has been redressed somewhat so we will have to see how that turns out.
The players to look out for must be the prolific goal scorer Rickie Lambert, who now is under much less pressure to produce the goals with the signings of Emmanuel Mayuka and Jay Rodriguez to add to Japanese striker Tadanari Lee. Adam Lallana is another key player in an attacking midfield role. Young Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin in midfield looks to have a promising future and is another young Saints player rumored to have caught the eye of Arsenal but then that could just be his French connection. The areas of doubt, by stepping up another division, must be at the back but in the promotion seasons they always outscored the opposition. Now there has to be a tighter defence and Nigel Adkins has used the pre-season friendlies to try out new systems to protect the defensive players more when his side could be over run in the more difficult games.
Nigel Adkins has seemed keen to play Jay Rodriguez in a wide attacking role but I don’t think he is at his best there. I would prefer him to be an impact substitute.
With the big signing of Uruguay International Gaston Ramirez for a club record fee of around £12.0 million, the wide attacking options have had a major boost at the club. This is a huge coup and a fantastic signing for the Saints. We saw what Gaston Ramirez was all about at the Olympic Games football tournament and that’s after a solid season in Serie A. He's quick, technically brilliant and has a keen eye for goal. What's more, his resale value if he does well in the Premier League will be through the roof.
All of the transfer window signings by Southampton are at an age where they could potentially increase in any future value, which shows shrewd planning by Mr Cortese with the quality, young talent he is bringing in.
I am pleased Saints have avoided the Premier League experienced journeymen who stroll in for another pay day.
Many of the Premier League clubs seem content to recycle the same average premiership players, purely based on experience, even if that experience not remarkable.
Another great strength at Southampton is the academy and youth scouting, which is one of the best in Europe and the envy of most Premier League teams.
As for silverware opportunities, as with most teams, the two domestic cup competitions look the best bet.
This season will be a venture into the unknown for most of the players and for manager Nigel Adkins, but expect a few surprises along the way in terms of results as the club are in buoyant mood. This is an important season to stay in the Premier League with an increase in prize money due to go up over 70% from next season.
I have not been expecting a scintillating start in terms of results as the fixtures are probably the toughest possible at the start of the season. Starting at Champions Manchester City and playing Manchester United and Arsenal in matches 3 and 4 may not be the ideal beginning. A slow start should only build the price if you want to back Saints in individual matches come October time.
1 Kelvin Davis 2 Nathaniel Clyne 3 Maya Yoshida 4 Morgan Schneiderlin 5 Jos Hooiveld 6 Jose Fonte 7 Rickie Lambert 8 Steven Davis 9 Jay Rodriguez 10 Gaston Ramirez 12 Paulo Gazzaniga 13 Danny Fox 16 James Ward-Prowse 18 Jack Cork 19 Tadanari Lee 20 Adam Lallana 21 Guly Do Prado 22 Frazer Richardson 23 Luke Shaw 24 Emmanuel Mayuka 25 Dan Seaborne 26 Jack Stevens 27 Richard Chaplow 28 Callum Chambers 29 Ben Reeves 32 Danny Butterfield 33 Steve De Ridder 34 Corby Moore 35 Sam Hoskins 36 Jake Sinclair 42 Jason Puncheon
All in all the squad is a great sight for Saints fans with the strongest looking squad for many a year.
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