Why Southampton should offload Sofiane Boufal amidst interest from France
According to L’Equipe (h/t Daily Echo), Sofiane Boufal could be on his way out of Southampton as French club Angers are looking to secure his services. Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said that the club are looking to offload some players and Boufal might be one of those names.
Sofiane Boufal is a 27-year-old Moroccan forward who plays for Southampton. Coincidentally, Boufal started his youth career at Angers itself back in 2010. He played for the U-19’s and Angers B team before being promoted to the senior team in 2013.
In total, he played for the senior team 51 times, scoring 4 goals and assisting 5. He moved to another French side LOSC Lille in 2015. A rather prolific spell followed at Lille where he played 51 games, scoring 15 goals and assisting 10 more. (h/t Transfermarkt)
Southampton secured his signing in 2016 and although he has shown occasional glimpses of his talent with his trickery and dribbling, he has largely failed to live up to his tag. In 84 games he has directly contributed to a measly 10 goals (5 goals and 5 assists). (h/t Transfermarkt)
He had a loan spell at Celta Vigo in 2018-19 for whom he played 35 games that season. Boufal has 3 caps for Morocco till date. (h/t Transfermarkt)
Why Hasenhuttl must offload Boufal
Boufal hasn’t played too bad for Southampton when called upon. But he has been way too inconsistent.
In recent games, Southampton have relied on the likes of Mousa Djenepo and Stuart Armstrong to provide width. They also have Nathan Redmond who is one of their most standout players. This leaves Boufal as the odd one out.
He may be versatile enough to play on both wings and as a creative midfielder. But he has struggled to make an impact on a consistent basis and as a result, finds himself way down the pecking order at St. Mary’s. Thus, cutting ties with him may be the best course of action for the Saints.
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It’s evident that Boufal is not an integral part of Hasenhuttl’s plans and he relies on other players to get the job done. Getting Boufal off their wage bill would help the club, no doubt. They can get the cash and maybe look to reinvest the money to strengthen the squad.