Now that Southampton are under new ownership after Sport Republic, backed by Serbian media mogul Dragan Solak, recently bought Gao Jisheng’s 80% stake in the club, this could pave the way for some potential January spending to take place in the coming weeks.
With that in mind, one potential deal that the Saints could look to complete this month would be to sign Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo, who the club have been linked with in recent weeks.
Since then, the 25-year-old has gone on to make a total of 123 appearances for the Scottish champions across all competitions in which he has managed to score 23 goals and provide 20 assists along the way, showing how much of a bargain he has been for them.
During his time at Charlton, Aribo was likened to former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure by his former Charlton teammate and current Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa, who also described Aribo’s “languid style” on the pitch as “unique.”
Judging by that, this could be a great first piece of transfer business under their new owners to bring in a midfield operator that can score and assist goals, which is something that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side could do with having.
For context, they’ve only managed to score 20 times in 19 league games this season, fewer than the likes of Watford, Brentford and Leeds United.
Given how Saints captain James Ward-Prowse has five goals and one assist under his belt in 17 league appearances this season, it could be incredibly exciting for Southampton to have him and Aribo in the same team that can score and create in equal measure from midfield.
However, with Aribo having appeared in all but one of Rangers’ games across all competitions so far this season, racking up six goals with five assists, the Ibrox club could be quite reluctant to let him go halfway through the season given how important he is for them.
Despite that, Southampton should still make an approach to Rangers to see if they would be willing to negotiate a deal for the player and see if he would be willing to make a move to the Premier League.