Southampton’s hopes of signing Ryan Gauld this summer are over after the Scottish youngster completed his move to Vancouver Whitecaps last week, which is undoubtedly a blow to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
Southampton were one of several English sides linked with a move for the 25-year-old earlier in the summer, with an exit always on the cards after his old side, SC Farense, suffered relegation from the Portuguese top-flight.
The former Dundee United youngster, who was once likened to Lionel Messi, rebuilt his career in Portugal with Farense after a failed move to Sporting Lisbon and will look to improve even further during his time in the MLS.
Last season saw the attacking midfielder contribute an impressive nine goals and seven assists in 33 top-flight appearances, averaging a superb 7.19 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Transfermarkt claim that Gauld cost Vancouver Whitecaps as little as £315k, which suggests that he could have been a bargain option for the Saints this summer.
Although Hasenhuttl usually sets his side up in a 4-4-2 formation, which leaves little room for an attacking midfielder such as Gauld, the former Scotland U’21 international could have offered the Austrian manager a different, more creative option in the middle of the park next season.
Upon his signing, Whitecaps CEO Alex Schuster was full of praise for Gauld, saying:
“He is a difference-maker, brings experience, as well as an exceptional work rate, all qualities we identified as being key characteristics that we need in this position.”
Given that Southampton regularly lost momentum in the second half of games last season, as opposition managers seemed to figure out their tactics and style of play, having someone such as Gauld, who can provide superb individual moments of quality, could have improved Hasenhuttl’s squad ahead of the new season.
Therefore, the Austrian manager should be disappointed that Southampton didn’t push harder to complete a bargain deal for Gauld, as it surely would’ve been well worth the low risk to bring him to St Mary’s.
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