Premier League

Forget Yoshida: There’s only one defender Southampton should get rid of this summer

Southampton supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern in the last couple of days after seeing their side record a vital 2-1 victory over South Coast rivals Bournemouth on Saturday to move within a point of 17th place Swansea City.

Mark Hughes’ men went into their clash with the Cherries having won just one of their previous 21 league matches, a run of form which had them four points adrift of safety ahead of kick-off at St Mary’s. Yet the Saints have now given themselves a great chance of survival as two Dusan Tadic goals either side of a Josh King equaliser secured a valuable three points for Hughes’ team, who have three games left to try and get out of the Premier League’s bottom three.

Subsequently, there have been many thrilled and upbeat Southampton fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom have renewed confidence that their side can indeed avoid the drop, with key games against Everton and Swansea to come before a final day clash with champions Manchester City.

In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Saints supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking defender Maya Yoshida with a move away this summer, with reports suggesting that he is set to sign for Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal.

Yet the South Coast outfit should forget about selling the Japan international this summer, as there is only one defender they should be getting rid of, namely Frenchman Jeremy Pied.

Ultimately, the 29-year-old has failed to make a meaningful impact at Southampton since his move from Nice back in 2016, with just eight first team appearances to show for his endeavours in the last couple of years.

Yes, injuries have certainly played a part in his difficulties, yet even when he did return to first team action during the New Year period, and indeed laid on an assist in their 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace, former boss Mauricio Pellegrino still decided against giving him a sustained run in the first team.

And that is particularly pertinent given that first-choice right back Cedric Soares hasn’t had the best of seasons as per his high standards, yet Pied is still unable to command regular football – that itself is an indication that he is simply not at the level required.

As such, while the 29-year-old hasn’t had the rub of the green with injuries during his stint at St Mary’s, the South Coast club should seek to get rid of him this summer – a summer which will be pivotal regardless of what division Southampton end up in.

And having started their last four Premier League games, and indeed being someone who knows the club having spent the last six years there, Yoshida is exactly the sort of professional one would want heading into next season, again regardless of what league the Saints are in.

Thus, they should forget about sanctioning Yoshida’s departure this summer, as there is only one defender they should be getting rid of, namely Pied.

Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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