Southampton announced in a statement last week that they had parted company with vice-chairman Les Reed following an eight-year spell at St Mary’s, and chairman Ralph Krueger subsequently suggested that he would be replaced by a new head of football operations.
The search is presumably underway to identify that individual and bring him to the south coast outfit, in order to oversee the football side of things and improve the recruitment and manager selection which hasn’t been good enough in the last couple of years.
One of the reasons for their success in the transfer market prior to the more recent period was the presence of head of recruitment Paul Mitchell at Saints, who joined when they were in the Championship before leaving to link up with Mauricio Pochettino for the second time at Tottenham Hotspur in November 2014.
The now 37-year-old was responsible for bringing the likes of Steven Davis, Jay Rodriguez, Ryan Bertrand, Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane and Toby Alderweireld to St Mary’s, while he brought the latter and Dele Alli to Spurs during his spell with the north London side.
Mitchell is currently the head of recruitment and football development at Bundesliga club Red Bull Leipzig, but a return to England with a team he enjoyed so much success with could prove to be tempting for him if the role is right.
We asked Southampton fans to vote on our poll to see whether they would like to see the former MK Dons midfielder return to the club in the vacant role, and a whopping 91% of those who took part said they would, as you can see from the results below.