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Southampton look good for another finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season. Things did not start well for the Saints under new boss Claude Puel, after the departure of Ronald Koeman to Everton, but they have managed to stick together and now look set to finish the season strongly.
A top half finish along with a runners-up position in the EFL Cup does account for a decent season for Southampton in Puel’s debut season, the club and the manager will be keen on bettering their performances for the next campaign. Considering this, a restructuring of the squad over the summer transfer window will be vital.
There are several areas that Southampton will want to strengthen over the course of the summer while there may well be some exits from the St. Mary’s as well. Here are two transfer ins and outs that should happen at Southampton in the upcoming window:
Over the past few years, it has become somewhat of a trend that the south coast club loses some of their best talents to bigger clubs. And it promises to be no different this season as star defender Virgil van Dijk looks destined to be on the way out at the end of the season.
The Dutchman has grown into one of the best centre-halves in the Premier League over the past couple of years after he joined the Saints from Celtic and has garnered huge amount of interest from almost all heavyweights in England. According to Manchester Evening News, Manchester City are in the race for the signature of Van Dijk, despite him haven’t played for close to three months due to an injury.
While the Saints would love to see Van Dijk stay at the club for another season, the fact that the player has outgrown the club and doesn’t see himself with them next term means that they will be forced into selling him. However, they stand to make a huge profit from his sale as Southampton are not willing to consider any offer less than their £50million valuation of the player.
The 27-year old Englishman has had another frustrating season at the St. Mary’s that has been blighted by injury problems and inconsistent displays.
Rodriguez has just 8 league starts to his name this season and has made 32 appearances in total across all competitions, scoring just 5 goals and chalking up 2 assists. With Manolo Gabbiadini, Charlie Austin, Shane Long all ahead of him in the pecking order, it is not surprising that the player seems to have grown frustrated with the lack of opportunities under Puel.
At 27, he still has plenty of football left in him and will attract quite a few suitors. With him being a mere squad player at the club, Southampton would be better off letting him go in the summer while they can make some profit from the player’s sale.