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The situation at Southampton looks desperate. Every move they have made in the summer looks to have been a mistake starting with the firing of Claude Puel who is having an excellent season with Leicester City. They were unable to bring in the signings that they wanted, and the prospect of the Van Dijk transfer hung over the club for the first half of the season. At the moment, it appears that they may well be sleep-walking towards relegation unless something changes.
This is why the link to Wigan’s prolific midfielder Nick Powell is an interesting one. On paper, a move for a League One midfielder who has not been able to prove himself at a higher level for a while doesn’t seem like the best move but Nick Powell is something different.
He was just 18 when he transferred from Crewe Alexandra to Manchester United and was proclaimed as the next big talent in English football. Alex Ferguson said that he could fill Paul Scholes’ boots! Then came a series of injuries, bad loan moves and a famous substitute appearance when he was brought on to save Manchester United against Wolfsburg in the Champions League – he was not up to the challenge.
However, he is now 23 years old and has returned to Wigan, where he had one of his more successful loan spells. This season, he has 11 goals from the midfield and is a key element in a Wigan team that is sitting pretty at the top of League One. Perhaps the link to Southampton isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds?
He would not be a big financial risk and he could be a good bit of business from a long-term perspective. It is clear that he is a better player than the level he has been playing at. Although he was clearly not good enough for United, maybe he can prove himself as a useful asset to a team like Southampton.
It is hard to believe that Nick Powell is the player to save Southampton’s season, as they need a lot more than that to ensure their Premier League status. But a young exciting player like that will at least give Mauricio Pellegrino another option when it comes to working out how to break down teams.