Southampton have been linked with a move for Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy recently, but who would be the better permanent signing between him and Theo Walcott?
Walcott has spent this season on loan with Southampton and is widely expected to complete a permanent move to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side in the summer, having won over the Austrian with his performances this season.
The Athletic claimed that the Saints are looking to complete a deal for the 32-year-old this summer, despite him managing just two goals and three assists in 17 Premier League starts so far this season.
The former Arsenal man would bring a wealth of experience with him and already knows the squad and manager well, but given that he will turn 33 next season, he may prove to be a relatively short-term option for the Saints.
According to Football Insider, Southampton are keen on signing the Newcastle United winger this summer, and the Toon could accept an offer as low as £3m for his services.
The 26-year-old has impressed in his recent performances at right wing-back, so he would offer Hasenhuttl some versatility in his squad and potentially some cover for Kyle Walker-Peters.
Murphy has two goals and two assists in the top flight this season and is only one goal contribution behind Walcott, despite making significantly fewer starts (10) than the Saints winger and playing in a much more defensive role.
Despite Walcott most likely being available on a free transfer this summer, he reportedly earns £100,000 per week at Everton, so he could cost Southampton a lot of money in wages if he makes the permanent switch to St Mary’s.
Murphy reportedly earns £25,000 per week at Newcastle, so whilst the Saints may have to pay the £3m fee to bring him in, he would be significantly cheaper in terms of wages.
The Newcastle United man would also be more of a long-term option in Hasenhuttl’s side and offers much more versatility than Walcott, who arguably no longer possesses the pace to play as a central striker. That latter attribute is something which Murphy could offer in spades.
Therefore, rather than breaking Hasenhuttl’s transfer policy to bring in a player such as Walcott who is perhaps well past his best, the Austrian manager should focus Southampton’s resources on signing Murphy this summer.