Mark Hughes had a busy summer on the south coast as his Southampton side welcomed a number of exciting new additions to their ranks. However, this Saints outfit could still do with some quality depth in attack. So, if Bakary Sako remains unattached come January, Hughes ought to tempt him to St Mary’s Stadium.
Sako was released by Crystal Palace at the end of last season after three years of service at Selhurst Park. However, he struggled for game time in his last two campaigns and was deemed surplus to requirements by Roy Hodgson come this summer.
The 30-year-old still has the quality to be effective in the Premier League though, and he’ll be eager to prove his ability at the highest level once more.
Should the Mali international remain a free agent come January, Southampton would be wise to offer him an opportunity to prove his worth in the top flight.
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The winger, who is comfortable operating on either flank, would represent a smart low-risk option for Hughes’ to bolster his attacking contingent. Offering the attacker a short-term deal with the incentive of an extension as a result of good performances would allow Southampton to bring in Sako at very little financial risk to themselves.
Over the hectic New Year period and the run-in of a gruelling campaign, the club may well be very thankful for having added this extra depth to their ranks.
With Nathan Redmond and new arrival Mohamed Elyounoussi the club’s only out-and-out wingers at this time with Josh Sims out on loan, this is an area of the pitch which could do with extra numbers. What’s more, Sako has the quality to push for a starting place.
All in all, bringing in Sako on a free transfer would be a great bit of business for the Saints.