Two positions Southampton must strengthen in January
It feels likes Mauricio Pochettino managed Southampton decades ago. The old Southampton were a competitive side, winning games against tough opponents.
The new Southampton, however, are just battling relegation. They were at the receiving end of a historic 9-0 hammering by Leicester City recently and injuries have not helped their cause either.
There have been impressive performances, to be fair, including one at home to Liverpool. In fact, they even held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s. But these performances have not come on a regular basis.
Southampton have been respectable on the road this season but their only win at the St. Mary’s Stadium came recently against fellow strugglers Watford. They have conceded 32 goals this season so far, which is the highest number among all top-flight sides. They also were mauled 9-0 at home by Leicester. They have not been prolific in front of the goal, having scored only 15.
Top scorer Danny Ings, a player with a long injury history, has rarely completed 90 minutes while Moussa Djenepo’s promising start to his Saints career has been hampered by injury.
Southampton’s transfer activity was limited as well, with Djenepo, Che Adams and on-loan Kevin Danso being the only new faces to enjoy meaningful playing time this season. The club also completed a permanent deal for previous loanee Ings.
Adams was tasked with replacing the departed Charlie Austin but he remains scoreless, while full-back Matt Targett and midfielders Steven Davis and Jordy Clasie were among other notable departures to leave a squad significantly lacking in depth.
Come January, the first task for Hasenhüttl would be to buy a defender as Maya Yoshida and Jannik Vestergaard look like an accident waiting to happen. The Saints must look at players who are struggling to notch up regular minutes at their current clubs to seal a bargain deal.
Another major area of concern for Southampton is in the striking department. Danny Ings has scored 7 of the 15 goals scored by Southampton whereas big-money signing Che Adams is yet to get on the scoresheet. Shane Long and Michael Obafemi have failed to find the back of the net.
The absence of a goal-scoring forward is hurting Southampton and Ralph Hasenhüttl must address this problem in the winter transfer window.
With just 12 points from the first 14 games – and with a busy December ahead – Southampton have their task cut out in the league. With the winter transfer window fast approaching, they must sign a central defender along with a deadly striker in their quest to avoid relegation and survive in the English Premier League.