Southampton manager Mark Hughes reportedly wanted to sign Filip Kostic as a replacement for Dusan Tadic during the summer transfer window, but after the former’s quiet start to the season he should be happy that he didn’t.
Well, according to the printed version of The Mirror (page 49) on July 24, via HITC, the Welshman was keen to offset the loss of Tadic to Ajax earlier in the summer by bringing his Serbia international teammate Kostic to St Mary’s.
The 25-year-old seemed set to leave cash-strapped Hamburg on a permanent basis following their first-ever relegation from the Bundesliga, and it was fellow German club Eintracht Frankfurt that eventually won the race for his signature – albeit they only brought him in on a season-long loan deal.
It’s fair to say that the move hasn’t been an overly positive one for either the Europa League competitors or the attacker so far.
While Saints’ transfer dealings have been deservedly lauded in the last few years, in more recent times they have got their business wrong more often than not – as seen by the fact they only narrow avoided the drop last season having finished in sixth two years previously.
The south coast outfit certainly can’t afford to sign any more duds, but the early signs from Kostic’s early-season form for Frankfurt suggests he would have been exactly that, and that he wouldn’t have improved a struggling Premier League side that have scored just six goals in their seven top-flight fixtures so far this term.
Up until his goal in the 4-1 win against Lazio in Europe on Thursday night, the 25-year-old had failed to find the net or register a single assist in his opening seven appearances for the Bundesliga club, and Southampton and their fans, 66% of whom voted on our poll said they would like a 43-year-old ex-Saint to replace Hughes, need better than that if they are to make progress again.