April 18, 2024

Southampton may look to the free agent market to improve their team this summer.

With Russell Martin’s side presently fourth in the Championship with ten games left, it is impossible to plan for the following season without knowing which level they will play in.

However, with a lot of teams becoming increasingly concerned about Financial Fair Play, it is a safe idea to look at players whose contracts are set to expire this summer and will thus be available for free.

Southampton look ready to lose a player in this manner, with sources claiming that Wolves are interested in signing Che Adams when his contract expires at the end of the current season. Given his contract status, many expected Adams to depart for a low amount in January, but he has stayed at St Mary’s to help with their promotion bid.

With this in mind, here are three players Southampton could consider signing if they become available for free this summer.

Josh Brownhill could bolster Southampton midfield

Sources: Wolves make approach to sign Burnley star Josh Brownhill; Leeds,  Everton also keen

 

The first player is midfielder Josh Brownhill, who plays for Burnley, which is struggling in the Premier League despite winning the Championship easily last season.

The 28-year-old should be entering his prime, and his experience in both Premier division and Championship games may be quite valuable, regardless of which division Southampton plays in next season.

He is a combative centre midfielder who would bring much-needed physicality to Southampton’s midfield, which can be lacking at times. According to FBREF, Brownhill made 1.29 interceptions per 90 minutes last year (top 26% of Premier League midfielders), 2.14 tackles per game (top 39%), and 1.60 clearances (top 30%).

Speaking about Brownhill shortly after his Burnley debut in September 2020, then-manager Sean Dyche characterized the player as having “boundless energy, will, and desire, and he’s a good footballer.” I’m incredibly delighted with how he’s come through.”

Despite his quality out of possession, Brownhill can also play further forward and has played as an attacking midfielder at times over his career. His three goals and two assists in all competitions this season for a struggling side indicate he can make an impact in the final third and be a beneficial asset.

With Stuart Armstrong being 31 and out of contract in the summer, Carlos Alcaraz’s future uncertain, and Flynn Downes only on loan until the end of the season, bringing Brownhill down south may be a very beneficial move for Southampton.

Ben Johnson continues to be linked with Southampton move

Ben Johnson: I'm ready for another big match assignment | West Ham United  F.C.

 

Ben Johnson of West Ham United has been linked with a move to the Saints in every transfer window, but might the move finally happen this summer?

Johnson is already 24, and it is doubtful that the full-back would sign new terms with the East London club. The England under-21 international is at a point in his career when he has to play on a regular basis, and Southampton might provide him with that opportunity, especially if talismanic defender Kyle Walker-Peters leaves this summer.

Johnson’s flexibility to play right-back, left-back, centre-back and even in midfield – as we have seen on a handful of occasions this season – make him an enticing option, particularly given the lack of depth Martin presently has at full-back.

Crystal Palace’s rumored interest in the sale could jeopardize any prospect of a successful completion. Palace are presently eight points ahead of the Premier League relegation zone, and their records have improved since Oliver Glasner replaced Roy Hodgson as manager, making it extremely probable that they will remain in the top division next season. Given this, paired with the London location and Palace’s own concerns in the full-back positions, it is a move that could attract Johnson, and negotiations between the two parties are reported to be “advanced”.

Johnson has played 103 games for West Ham, but has only started four league games this season, so it’s not surprise that he sees his future elsewhere. If Southampton is promoted, the club will undoubtedly become a lot more appealing option, but Martin may be able to persuade the defender with the prospect of becoming a crucial player.

Southampton interested in Callum O’Hare

INTERVIEW: Callum O'Hare on injury progress and his U21s outing - News -  Coventry City

 

Southampton are also supposed to be keeping an eye on Coventry City’s Callum O’Hare, with the club reporting in January that it is watching the attacking midfielder’s position.

With an anterior cruciate ligament injury that has kept him out since Boxing Day 2022, O’Hare has made up for lost time by scoring nine goals and assisting four times in just 16 games across all competitions since returning in late October.

After starting his career at Aston Villa, the once-capped England under-20 international will definitely go on to the Premier League. As a result, any future transfer to Martin’s Southampton is likely to be conditional on the St Mary’s team gaining promotion.

Coventry could yet gain promotion, with the Sky Blues now four points behind the play-offs with a game in hand, but the 25-year-old appears unlikely to stay at the club he has represented 173 times after this summer.

O’Hare is very comfortable in possession and is constantly looking to create opportunities for himself or his offensive teammates, therefore he could play the advanced role in Martin’s preferred three-man midfield. However, the mercurial midfielder will definitely face stiff competition for his services this summer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *