In Focus: Southampton need to replace Florin Gardos

Southampton have confirmed that their defender, Florin Gardos, has completed a return to Romania on loan.

What’s the story?

The Saints have confirmed that Florin Gardos has joined Clubul Sportiv Universitatea Craiova on loan for the remainder of the season. The defender has had a particularly difficult time during his Southampton career.

The 29-year-old’s new club are currently situated in the third position in Liga 1, Romania’s premier division.

What are his qualities?

There’s no doubting that injuries have had a severe impact on Gardos’ career, however during the pinnacle of his physical condition he was regarded as a good defender who is especially skilled at tackling and dominant when competing in aerial duels. He could have been a terrific option for the Saints had he remained fit.

Why is he leaving?

Gardos joined Southampton from Steaua București in the summer of 2014. Despite making 17 appearances during his first season with the club, the Romanian international has had his Saints career hindered by injury.

Over the duration of the past three seasons, the defender has only made a single appearance for the Saints. As per transfermarkt, the Romanian has been absent for 378 days through injury as a Southampton player, and he’s failed to recover from the setbacks that he’s faced.

Should Southampton replace him?

In light of Virgil Van Dijk’s highly-discussed departure to Liverpool in the January transfer window, further defensive reinforcement could prove to be exceedingly beneficial for the Saints.

Southampton are currently situated in 18th place in the Premier League, and their tendency to concede goals has been a severe issue this season.

In 27 league games, the Saints have conceded 40 goals, averaging a ratio far higher than a goal conceded per game.

Wesley Hoedt and Jack Stephens are the only recognised centre-backs that Mauricio Pellegrino has at his disposal. Accordingly, the need for defensive reinforcement is apparent.