According to reports from Mirror Football, Southampton are interested in signing Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater on loan, with the England international not an important fixture in Maurizio Sarri’s plans for the west Londoners.
Saints have already made some decent signing this summer and the experienced former Premier League title winner would be another addition to that list. But could there be unforeseen ramifications to Southampton signing Drinkwater in a season-long loan before next Thursday?
Football FanCast look at the potential consequences…
Mario Lemina is undoubtedly the standout talent in the St. Mary’s engine room but despite a wealth of decent and varied options, nobody at St. Mary’s really proved to be a particularly convincing partner for the former Juventus man last season. In Drinkwater though, Hughes may well have unearthed a perfect combination.
Both are relatively balanced and powerful midfielders who like to make contributions at each end, but while Lemina is agile enough to jink his way past opponents and create space that way, Drinkwater likes to be more static and pick out long-range passes from deeper pockets. That mix of similarity and contrast gives Southampton’s midfield a bit of everything, especially if Oriol Romeu is sitting just behind them as the anchorman.
Davis has been a fantastic servant to Southampton but his influence has slowly waned over the last few seasons and 33-year-old’s contract is due to expire next summer. Stuart Armstrong’s arrival from Celtic has no doubt put his place in the team under threat already but signing Drinkwater as well would inevitably push Davis even further to the fringes – and quite possibly out of the exit door.
It was reported in June that Rangers were keen on re-signing their former midfield maestro, so getting another body through the door could convince the Scottish outfit to firm up that interest, or even Davis himself to request a move back to Ibrox.
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Armstrong is no doubt a decent addition at just £7million but having previously played exclusively in Scotland, he’s still got some way to go to really rise to Southampton’s level. It could mean some underwhelming performances during the first few weeks of the season, but that challenge could be made all the more difficult by Drinkwater’s arrival simply because the Chelsea man is already well acquainted with and well experienced in the Premier League.
Even with Davis leaving, Hughes will still have a wealth of options to choose from in the middle of the park, and if it comes down to a proven Premier League player and a signing trying to jump up a level from the Scottish top flight, the advantage inevitably goes to the former – especially if Southampton don’t start the season strongly.
So, Southampton fans, would you back a loan swoop for Drinkwater? Let us know by voting below…