2014/15 has certainly been a somewhat surprising campaign for those following Southampton.. The summer exodus at St. Mary’s really didn’t bode too well for the club throughout the rest of the year, but as Ronald Koeman came in and did a fantastic job for his side in the Premier League, such initial worries have seemingly been dropped for now.
The new names drafted in at Southampton last summer turned out to be a series of good investments for the club. The likes of Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic and Ryan Bertrand all done the business for their new side last season, whilst more familiar faces – in the form of Morgan Schneiderlin and Jose Fonte – proved more than worthy of their lofty status down at St. Mary’s with their consistency out on the pitch.
There is one particular Southampton star that arguably caught the attention more than any other player on the South Coast across 2014/15 however – and that man is 24-year-old, Nathaniel Clyne.
In having such a strong season and capturing the attention of the England national set-up this term, the former Crystal Palace favourite has subsequently been linked with a series of potential moves throughout the summer, with Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool being one of many outfits looking the acquire the full-back’s services in the run up to the new campaign.
In light of such a notion then, should the promising England international begin waving his good-byes at St. Mary’s with a view to join Liverpool this summer, or will this potential transfer only serve to damage Nathaniel Clyne’s career in the not too distant future?
Well for one thing, those who suggest that the Saints no. 2 would be capable of holding down the right-back spot at Anfield next season certainly aren’t wrong. Based on his impressive performances this term, Clyne could most definitely add to this current Reds squad and help them improve on their rather disappointing recent Premier League form.
He has been a truly reliable asset for Southampton in recent seasons, and at the still promising age of only 24-years-old, the current St. Mary’s favourite is likely only going to get better.
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When it comes to making bustling runs up and down the flanks for the whole 90 minutes, beating players on the wing with impressive consistency, and also proving able to send in the crosses at a frequent rate – there have arguably been none better than the Southampton no. 2 this past season.
The quick-footed full-back has been everywhere for his side this term – and with such a well-rounded asset on board for Ronald Koeman in recent months – it comes as no surprise that the Saints have surpassed many expectations throughout the 2014/15 campaign.
Although Anfield would certainly be a great place for someone like Nathaniel Clyne to home in his skills and become even more of a high profile player, why would the former Selhurst Park star consider leaving St. Mary’s when things are currently going so well for him? Every football fan in this country knows full well the potential on offer from Clyne in the next few seasons, so any potential move to Liverpool this summer would only serve to gamble away the reputation he has already earned.
The Reds have unfortunately been notorious for turning would-be promising stars into somewhat flat prospects in recent years – just look at how poorly their transfer activity last summer turned out for them across the 2014/15 season. The club are in a bit of an uncertain period in their history at the moment, for nobody at Anfield seems to know which direction the team are currently heading in.
With Southampton clearly looking like a side on the up based on their recent successes, Nathaniel Clyne would be simply mad to move on from his current employers on the back of such a gamble. The likes of Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert have already served to prove how precarious these transfers can be, with each player subsequently paying witness to a rather forgetful campaign at Liverpool this season.
No, recent history simply acts as a strong warning for any up and coming Southampton star looking to improve on their fortunes elsewhere. Nathaniel Clyne looks like he could be a really good player in the next few years – but if he eventually decides that Anfield is the best place for him to ply his trade next season – we could ultimately be forgetting his name almost as soon as he first burst onto the scene.
And that is something no one really wants to see happen, Southampton fan or not.