Southampton supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side bow out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
Mark Hughes’ men went into their last-16 clash with Leicester City on Tuesday night looking to put their recent Premier League struggles behind them by furthering their cup run, what with the Saints third-bottom in the English top-flight after another loss at the weekend. And the South Coast outfit are out of the Carabao Cup as well after suffering a 6-5 penalty shootout defeat to Claude Puel’s Foxes, leaving Hughes’ side firmly focused on improving their league position over the coming months.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Saints fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their team will improve as the season goes on, especially given they were reasonably active during the summer transfer window.
And one signing those supporters had high hopes for was Mohamed Elyounoussi, who arrived at the club for £16.2 million (as per Transfermarkt) in a bid to compensate for the departure of Dusan Tadic, who left just a few days later for £10.26 million (as per Transfermarkt).
And with the former having done very little during his stint on the South Coast, and the latter tearing it up in the Eredivisie with Dutch giants Ajax, they are key summer decisions which are looking more and more like a big blunders from manager Hughes.
Ultimately, there were plenty of raised eyebrows among supporters around the country when the Saints sanctioned Tadic’s departure during the summer, what with the Serbia international one of the club’s more talented attacking players, and indeed playing a key part in getting them out of a trouble with a brace in their late-season win over Bournemouth.
And with the South Coast outfit short of attacking quality as it was, letting Tadic go was something of a strange decision, although they just a few days earlier spent big money on Basel’s Elyounoussi, perhaps knowing that Tadic would be on his way.
24-year-old Elyounoussi came to St Mary’s amid much anticipation after shining at Swiss giants Basel, scoring 24 goals and laying on 30 assists in just 84 appearances for the club – thus, he looked to be the ideal replacement for the soon-to-depart Tadic.
Yet things simply haven’t worked out that way as the Norway international has struggled to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, failing to score or indeed lay on an assist in any of his nine league appearances for Hughes’ side – he’s not even a regular in a Saints side that are bereft of ideas going forward.
And to make matters worse, Tadic is lighting up the Eredivisie with seven goals and four assists for Ajax in the league, while his fine efforts in the Champions League mean he has already netted 13 times for the Dutch heavyweights this season – that alone is more goals than Southampton have scored in all competitions this term.
Thus, not only is selling Tadic proving to be an error, but his replacement in Elyounoussi simply isn’t producing the goods – add in the £5.94 million loss on the two deals, and it’s plainly obvious that Hughes made two very big blunders during the summer.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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