With their English Premier League status hanging in the balance, planning for the upcoming transfer window is a tricky proposition for manager Mark Hughes and the other decision makers at St Mary’s.
With just three games remaining, the Saints are one point from safety at the bottom of the league table, but still hold their fate in their own hands with a mammoth relegation tussle against Swansea City on the horizon.
The cause of their woes this season has undoubtedly been a lack of attacking ambition, having scored just 35 goals in 35 matches in the top-flight.
That may be more than the teams immediately around them, but it’s less than the likes of Watford, West Ham Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, who have all been left in their dust over the past three seasons.
One man reportedly on their radar that could help fix that lack of attacking edge next season is Celta Vigo’s Danish international Pione Sisto. The Sun say that he could be available for around £18m this summer and that Hughes is keen to add him to his squad if they manage to survive the drop.
Helping Celta Vigo to a mid-table finish in La Liga, Sisto has demonstrated this season he could be an upgrade on Southampton’s left flank, with the St Mary’s side struggling to find a consistent performer in that area.
Nathan Redmond has been the player most reliably picked in the left-wing position but as shown by WhoScored.com has failed to score a single goal in 2017/18 and has provided just three assists.
In contrast, Sisto has 14 direct goal contributions consisting of five goals and nine assists. His ball retention is better too, with an 84% pass accuracy rating, which is better than every single one of Southampton’s attacking wide players.
His 2.2 dribbles per game also demonstrate his ambition to take players on is as strong as the likes of Sofiane Boufal and Mario Lemina, who are regarded as two of the most exciting players in the Southampton team when they’re on their game, leading the squad in dribbles per game. With a better end product though, Sisto can be a player that provides even more of an impact than both.
While there would obviously be a period of adjustment between La Liga and the English game, it’s clear that the Danish international is a viable target for the Saints this summer and at the reported £18m, could go a long way to ensuring they aren’t stuck in a relegation rut next season.