Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl made a transfer claim earlier this week which will surely come as a relief to the majority of Saints fans ahead of the new Premier League season.
After a shocking second half of the 2020/21 campaign, Southampton fans will undoubtedly have wanted to see their squad strengthened in the summer transfer window, with a lack of squad depth a real issue for the Austrian last season.
However, with only two weeks until the opening game against Everton at Goodison Park, Southampton have added just one new player to their senior squad, with French left-back Romain Perraud arriving as a direct replacement for Ryan Bertrand, which suggests that they are not much stronger than they were last season.
Theo Walcott has been added on a permanent basis after spending the 2020/21 campaign on loan, whilst Dynel Simeu has joined Southampton’s academy from Chelsea, but neither of these signings appear particularly inspired.
Fortunately for Southampton, Hasenhuttl spoke about squad depth earlier this week and assured fans that he would be adding new players before the end of the window, saying: “We will definitely get a few more [players] in at full-back, also maybe a six (defensive midfielder) and a centre-back.
“The market is now getting a little bit hotter. We have our fingers in the market but we must wait until the right moment.
“We are clear that we need more players than last season.”
As the Austrian suggests, full-back is currently an area in which Southampton appear particularly weak. Perraud is the only natural left-back at the club after Jake Vokins joined Ross County on loan, whilst Yan Valery’s performances in recent seasons suggest that he is far from the ideal understudy to Kyle Walker-Peters at right-back.
Brandon Williams is someone who can play on either side and has been heavily linked with a loan move to the Saints, but Manchester United’s asking price and his wages are currently proving to be sticking points in any deal.
However, Hasenhuttl seems confident that more signings will be made before the end of the window, which will hopefully dispel any Southampton fans’ fears about relegation next year and offer some relief following the tame end to 2020/21 and quiet summer thus far.
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