Southampton winger Tyreke Johnson joined Gillingham on loan earlier this week and it looks as if his time with the South Coast club could well be over.
The 22-year-old has endured difficult loan spells in the past, failing to impress with the likes of Woking in the National League and Hartford Athletic in the US second tier.
It seems likely therefore that once his loan spell with Gillingham ends at the end of this season, he won’t be offered a new contract with the Saints, meaning he could leave on free transfer when his current deal expires.
After he signed for Gillingham, manager Steve Evans made it clear that he wants to see the winger join permanently, saying:
“He is an exciting prospect and I have no doubt he will fit in well with our current group.
“He is very quick, direct, hungry, and will cause defences a lot of problems in our division.
“Our intention is to make this deal permanent which will give us more flexibility in the loan market over the next few weeks.”
Therefore, it seems clear that the League One side are confident they will sign Johnson on a permanent deal in the summer, regardless of how he performs with the Kent-based side.
In his time with Southampton, Johnson has managed just three senior appearances but has been a regular in David Horseman’s B team, contributing 11 goals and eight assists in 76 appearances.
He has certainly fallen down the pecking order behind the likes of Nathan Tella and Dan N’Lundulu it recent times, so it would be a surprise to see him feature in a Southampton shirt ever again.
Tella has earned a promotion to Hasenhuttl’s side after impressing with the B team and now looks set for a run in the first-team following injuries to Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond, so seems to be way ahead of Johnson in terms of current ability.
Therefore, even if he does impress with Gillingham in League One this season, Hasenhuttl should still axe the youngster in the summer, as it seems clear at this point that he’s not going to make it as a regular with Southampton.