January transfer window ins and outs at Southampton

Posted by Chris Rann

Davide Astori: Italian on the menu for SouthamptonGettyImagesDavide Astori: Italian on the menu for Southampton

Whom should Southampton bring in during the January transfer window, and whom should they ship out?

Thus far, Saints haven't been linked with too many incoming players. Diego from Wolfsburg linked himself, and reports in Spain suggested that the club were looking to bring in former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela from Real Sociedad.

There is something a little alarming to a Saints fan about both of those links; they are both great players, sure, but neither of them is a defender.

The third player Saints have been linked with, for a year now, is Italian international centre-half Davide Astori. This is much more like it, Saints still look vulnerable at the back, and someone with Astori's class to come in and partner superb Dejan Lovren would be a fantastic move.

It is clear that this is still the area Saints need to bolster, with the backup options not good enough at Premier League level.

The other area Saints might want to consider strengthening is goalkeeper, but this is dependent on just how long Artur Boruc will be out. Paulo Gazzaniga has looked too nervous and is too inexperienced to play in the Premier League at the moment, and Kelvin Davis is in the twilight of his career. The lack of Boruc has been huge and has cost Saints points.

In truth, the Southampton youth system is again proving prolific, and the young Saints players who have come into the first team have looked comfortable. Wholesale changes aren't needed at St. Mary's, but some defensive strengthening could be key.

There are several players at Saints who look very unlikely to play. The likes of Guly do Prado, Tadanari Lee and Emmanuel Mayuka could all find themselves moved on, and, should Saints sign a centre-half -- as I hope -- it would not be a surprise to see Jos Hooiveld or Maya Yoshida move on, either.

If Saints bring in another keeper, it might be wise to get Gazzaniga a loan move to the Championship to get him some much needed first-team exposure.

As is the common theme with Saints, though, a good transfer window will be the retention of its stars. Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Victor Wanyama have all been linked with moves away, and, in my opinion, letting any of them go would be disastrous. There is an argument that, if West Ham (as is rumoured) are prepared to pay 8 million pounds for 32-year-old Lambert, then it would be good business, but personally I think he still has a big role to play at St. Mary's, and you couldn't replace him for that money.

I am predicting (and hoping for) a relatively quiet transfer window for Saints.


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