Southampton enjoyed a fairly successful transfer window and targeted young players, but they decided to sell Michael Obafemi rather than letting veteran striker Shane Long leave.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side brought in exciting young talents such as Adam Armstrong, Romain Perraud, Valentino Livramento and Thierry Small, whilst fringe players such as Wesley Hoedt and Mario Lemina finally left the club.
However, in a move that seems to conflict with their transfer methods, the Saints decided to sell Obafemi, with the 21-year-old completing a permanent move to Swansea City on deadline day, whilst Long remains at the club.
After the signing of Armstrong, as well as the loan addition of Armando Broja, you could argue that both Irish forwards would have struggled for regular game time in the first team this season, but Hasenhuttl has suggested that he wants a bigger squad than last year.
Therefore, it seems strange that Martin Semmens was willing to accept as little as £1.5m for the young forward, especially after his impressive performances in pre-season suggested that he could make an impact in the first team this season.
By comparison, Long spent the second half of last season on loan with Bournemouth in the Championship and managed just two goals, whilst his last Premier League goal came in a 3-1 win against Aston Villa in December 2019.
Therefore, it seems baffling that Long is still at St Mary’s, especially when you consider that he reportedly earns £60k per week with the Saints, which makes him one of the highest earners in Hasenhuttl’s side.
The 34-year-old looks way past his best and it seems likely that he will leave at the end of this season when his contract expires, so you feel that Semmens could have done more to sell him this summer and Saints fans will surely be fuming that he was kept instead of a promising youngster such as Obafemi.
If Long remains a bit-part player for the Saints throughout this season before leaving on a free, you could definitely argue that it was a mistake on Semmens’ part to keep him after what has been a very promising window overall.
And, in other news… Sheldon drops Southampton transfer update on “one of the best”