Decisive Southampton should be settling supporters’ nerves 7

Earlier in the week, I wrote this about Southampton and stressed that despite the sales of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, and Rickie Lambert, there were plenty of reasons for optimism and that the club were still well-positioned to be a progressive force in the Premier League.

And, after the last twenty-four hours, I’m more sure of that then I was before.

The club have seemingly reached agreements with Feyenoord and FC Twente for the transfers of Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic, and two holes in the first-eleven have been immediately filled.

Pelle is a forward and will drop straight into the space vacated by Lambert, whilst Tadic is a versatile attacking-midfield who can play on either side of the pitch or centrally.

Clearly there’s a disparity between the Premier League and the Eredivisie, and there’s really no way of knowing how well a player will transition between the two, but performances in Holland aren’t just to be automatically disregarded - for every Mateja Kezman who has floundered on the bigger stage, there’s a Christian Eriksen, a Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and a Roy Makaay.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 19.18.55


The names above aren’t really listed in any kind of order - it’s not a depth-chart - but the graphic does give a good idea of the options that these two new players provide.  Ronald Koeman, despite only just beginning to use his transfer budget, already has some decent diversity.  True, Dani Osvaldo probably doesn’t have a future at the club, but until he’s sold he remains an alternative to Pelle at forward.

Making a prediction about how Tadic and Pelle will perform would be reckless, and it’s a very easy way to make yourself look foolish.  Pelle I haven’t seen enough of to accurately comment on, but Tadic is someone I’ve admired for a long time and a player who - because of his technique, and his flair-heavy game - will become very popular, very quickly at St Mary’s.  In theory, he should be able to replace everything that Lallana’s sale took away from this team.

Asterisk that with what we all know about transition periods and foreign players, obviously, but there’s a lot to like about him.  There’s a stylistic difference between him and Lallana, but the qualities they bring to the side are very similar: creativity, ability to take on players, goal-threat etc.

Southampton as a club warrant a tip of the hat, too, because they haven’t sulked over losing players and they haven’t waited until the end of the window to replace them.  They’ve been swift and decisive, and these deals look likely to be completed right at the beginning of pre-season - which, as history shows, is almost always the correct way of conducting Summer business.

Follow @premleagueowl

Latest for Squawka: How Liverpool can and will cope without Luis Saurez

Sabotage Times: Predicting an England line-up for 2016