June 25, 2024

Russell Martin could soon fire this Southampton player who makes more than Kyle Walker-Peters.

Southampton will be disappointed that they have dropped out of the Championship’s automatic promotion picture, with Daniel Farke’s Leeds United pushing away from the Saints to take the league lead.

Now, Russell Martin’s side is nine points behind the top two, but they feel they can return to the Premier League through the lottery of the playoffs.

Regardless of whether promotion is secured or not, there will be a lot of conversation this summer about who should be kept at St. Mary’s, with a number of contracts expiring or entering their final year.

Jack Stephens may begin to worry about his Southampton future as a result – his contract expires in 2025 – and his big salary is also burning a hole in the club’s budget given how many times he’s played this season.

Jack Stephens’ wage at Southampton

According to Capology, the 30-year-old Saints centre-back is currently earning a hefty £45k a week despite not being a fixture in defence this season.

It would be a bittersweet severance of links to fire Stephens, who has been with Southampton since 2011, but it would be a wise option to use that money more effectively.

Stephens has only made 15 appearances in the second division this season, but he has been given the captain’s armband when playing, with his manager openly praising him for having all the qualities of a “real leader.”

That doesn’t change the fact that the senior defender has struggled this season when selected away from his outspoken presence in the dressing room, most notably in Southampton’s 4-2 win against Sunderland shortly before the break.

The Southampton number five failed to win a single duel in that back-and-forth contest before being substituted, and he failed to register a single tackle throughout his dismal 73 minutes on the South Coast.

His big salary appears even more extravagant when compared to that of Kyle Walker-Peters, who has continued to be a crucial performer for the Saints despite their drop to the Championship, with his desire to achieve for the club still strong.

Jack Stephens’ wage compared to the Southampton squad

Jack Stephens - Player profile 23/24 | Transfermarkt

 

Walker-Peters had not missed a single minute of second-tier action for Martin’s men when injury struck, forcing Stephens back into the back four.

As a result, it’s perplexing to see such an important first-team presence earning £25k a week less than the 30-year-old, who is primarily utilized as a utility player when needed.

Stephens also earns a higher salary than regular first-team players Gavin Bazunu and Will Smallbone, who earn £20,000 and £25,000 per week, respectively.

Stephens only just misses out on being a top five earner at St. Mary’s based on the table above, with the long-time servant’s future at the club sure to be debated soon when you consider Jan Bednarek and Taylor Harwood-Bellis are set in stone as a relied-on centre-back duo over Stephens.

Martin, who openly admires his defender for his qualifications as a back-up commander, must be aware that his defender’s time at St. Mary’s may be coming to an end, especially given his high wage in comparison to Walker-Peters and others.

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