As we approach the halfway mark of this January transfer window, a lot of the focus at Southampton – and Leeds – has been on Che Adams.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay confirmed that Marcelo Bielsa’s side want to sign the former Birmingham striker, while Ralph Hasenhuttl responded to the talk by saying that he wants Adams to stay at the club.
Incidentally, the 23-year-old is yet to net his first goal for the Saints following his £15m move to St Mary’s back in the summer, with just a single assist to show for his efforts across 19 appearances in all competitions – even that set-up only came in the most recent outing against Leicester.
However, a fresh report from Hay in The Athletic has revealed that the Southampton hierarchy are in fact open to letting Adams depart the south coast this month, in return for a £1m loan fee as well as an obligation for Leeds to buy the Englishman for ‘more than £10m’ at the end of the season.
“Hasenhuttl wants Adams to stay, saying on Friday that Southampton would “need him in the second half of the season”, but The Athletic understands Southampton’s hierarchy are more open to letting Adams go, for a loan fee of £1 million and an obligation to sign Adams permanently for more than £10m at the end of the season. Leeds are ready to meet those demands and Adams, who is keen to take the move to Elland Road, has been considering forcing the issue himself by informing Hasenhuttl of his desire to leave.”
Now, it appears that – given Hasenhuttl’s comments – the manager and the hierarchy at St Mary’s aren’t on the same page.
However, the question has to be asked – why are those higher up at Southampton ready to give up on their £15m purchase so soon after signing him?
What must happen is that the Saints hierarchy need to show Adams the same faith as they showed Hasenhuttl when times were tough earlier in the campaign.
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Following the embarrassing 9-0 defeat to Leicester at the end of October, the board reiterated their faith and belief in the former RB Leipzig to turn things around, where the Austrian coach has since overseen an excellent run of four wins and a draw from Southampton’s last five league outings, propelling them into 12th on 28 points.
Their faith in that moment has paid off so far, and it would be harsh to not instil a similar belief in a striker who is still relatively young and is also someone who is embarking on his first taste of Premier League football this season.
If Hasenhuttl wants Adams to stay, then so should the board – the No.10 deserves the hierarchy’s support.
In other news, these Southampton fans have reacted to a “lazy” report linking a player to this “proper mess” of a club…