Southampton come into this season looking to improve on last seasons disappointing 16th place finish in the Premier League. Next up on our Premier League previews list is Ralph Hassenhuttl and his Southampton side.
State of play
As I just mentioned, Southampton had a really disappointing season last time out which saw them finish just two places above the relegation zone. The appointment of Austrian manager Ralph Hassenhuttl mid-way through the season not only saved them, but gave them a platform to build upon.
They’ve not gone overboard with the spending this summer, but they have brought in a few players they believe could be great additions to an already talented squad. Danny Ings (£20million) has arrived permanently following his loan spell last season. He’s been joined by Che Adams (£15million) from Birmingham, Moussa Djenepo (£14million) from Standard Liege and Kevin Danso (LOAN) from Augsburg.
Pre-season has pretty successful for the Saints as they went unbeaten, picking up four wins from five across the summer. The best results from that campaign were a 4-0 win over Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande, a 3-1 win over Dutch outfit Feyenoord and a 2-0 win over German side Cologne.
Signing of the Summer
I really, really like Southampton’s signing of Che Adams. He comes from the Championship, having scored plenty of goals and provided plenty of excitement for his fans. He bagged an impressive 22 goals in 46 games for the Blues last season – a tally which earned more than a few admirers.
His athleticism, finishing ability and raw potential mean he’s a very good coup for the Saints. At 23-years-old, he’s still got most of his career ahead of him, and I’m expecting a lot from him in those red and white stripes this season.
I’m a big fan of Hassenuttl and the way in which he turned that Southampton team around last season. They had no hope before he came in, and I really think he can take the team forward.
However, the issue he has is that despite the fact Southampton have improved, so have all the teams around them. The likes of Wolves, Leicester, Everton, West Ham and Watford all have better squads than they do, making a top half finish almost an impossible task.
Although I think they’ll give it a damn good go, I see them just missing out on the top half. Somewhere between 11-15 alongside the likes of Bournemouth. That wouldn’t be a bad first full season in all fairness.
*All transfer info taken from https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/fc-southampton/transfers/verein/180