There’s another new era beginning at Southampton and this time it’s under the Frenchman Claude Puel.
The former Nice boss is setting out on his first managerial role outside of France but will be cautiously optimistic about his reign given what has gone before him at the club in recent years.
The Saints have got a real knack of not letting departures bother them. In recent years Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman have left the St. Mary’s dugout whilst a whole host of players have also moved away from the South Coast yet the team if anything has got stronger.
After a sixth place finish last season the club will be embarking on a Europa League campaign for 2016/17 and the new man in charge will surely be looking to strengthen his side as much as possible.
Puel spent 17 years managing in France so must have a decent idea of the market over there. Therefore we at Football FanCast think these FOUR Ligue 1 stars could be on his wishlist…
Gourcuff is a clever attacking midfielder who can also play just off of the main striker.
He’s played for some of the biggest clubs in France as well as AC Milan in Italy and has clocked up 31 appearances for the French national side – scoring four goals.
He’s the kind of player Southampton like and the prospect of him dovetailing with Dusan Tadic and Shane Long may interest Puel.
Diarra has bags of experience from both the Premier League and around Europe and would surely strengthen the Saints in the holding midfield role.
He may have played for great rivals Portsmouth but he’s also played for Real Madrid, Chelsea and the French national team. Despite seemingly being around for ages he’s only 31, so any deal for the Marseille man would tick a lot of boxes for Southampton.
For a European campaign, Southampton need extra strength in depth and Corchia would give them this in the right back position – Cedric Soares is the current first choice but Puel will want to make sure he stays on his toes.
The Lille defender joined from Sochaux in 2014 and will turn 26 in November, showing he’s perfectly placed to challenge Soares for his position.
Southampton lost Graziano Pelle earlier this summer so will be hoping Shane Long and Charlie Austin can do the business.
With Austin’s injury niggles continuing though, the club might want to look for another striker to boost their ranks.
Rolan is a Uruguay international with 17 caps to his name and also boasts Europa League experience with Bordeaux who were in Liverpool’s group last season.