April 18, 2024

Southampton are still in contention for automatic promotion as the Championship season nears its conclusion.

Russell Martin’s squad faces a difficult task, but they are more than capable of returning to the Premier League right away.

During the January transfer window, the club was looking for a right winger to help them finish in the top two.

Burnley’s Manuel Benson, who was rated as ‘energetic’ during his Championship season, was their first target before signing David Brooks.

The transfer for Benson fell through as Burnley changed the terms of the loan deal late on, forcing Saints executives to walk away from the bargaining table.

The Belgian winger must be regretting that missed opportunity now, as he finds himself playing a minor role in the Clarets’ relegation battle.

Manuel Benson must regret failed Southampton move

Benson has only played 87 minutes of Premier League football this season and has been an unused replacement on seven occasions.

Vincent Kompany clearly believes he is not at the level necessary in the Premier League, and with so little playing time, he must be wishing he had completed the mid-season move to the South Coast club.

The left-footed wide player would have played an important role in Southampton’s top-two assault and could have signed a permanent contract with the club in the summer.

Now, as the season comes to a close, Benson might find himself back in the Championship the next season, since Burnley is five points from safety.

There is also the possibility that the Saints will return to the Premier League, exacerbating Benson’s squandered opportunity.

However, with Brooks anticipated to return to Bournemouth at the end of the season, the 26-year-old’s fate may not be totally sealed.

Manuel Benson could still join Southampton



Brooks has had a productive loan term under Martin, but he is not anticipated to sign on a permanent basis.

That will leave Southampton seeking for a right-sided winger in the summer, and a move for Benson may resurface.

Kompany simply does not fancy him, at least in the Premier League, therefore he may be made available once more.

Martin is definitely a fan, and if Saints stay in the Championship next season, he would be an excellent replacement for Brooks.

The under-21 Belgian international starred in the second division during the 2022/23 season, scoring 12 goals and providing three assists.

Benson’s relocation to Southampton may not be completely dead.


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