Southampton supporters in the Transfer Tavern have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side start the new Premier League season with just one point from their first two games.
Mark Hughes’ men narrowly avoided the drop last term and expectations were high that the former Stoke City chief could take the club forward this time round, although early indications suggest that it may well be a tough task. The Saints only mustered a 0-0 draw at home to Burnley on the opening day before going down 2-1 at Marco Silva’s Everton last time out, thus leaving the South Coast outfit winless heading into their clash with Leicester City on Saturday.
As such, there are many despondent Southampton fans up and down the country at present, several of whom have shown surprise and displeasure at seeing young sensation Josh Sims leave the club to join Championship side Reading on loan for the rest of the season.
And given the Saints’ troubles in the attacking third of the pitch last term, alongside their early difficulties this time round, sanctioning the £675,000-rated (as per Transfermarkt) sensation’s departure could prove to be a huge mistake by the Southampton hierarchy.
Ultimately, 21-year-old Sims broke through into the Saints first team back in November 2016 in starting their Premier League victory over Everton, in which the winger impressed by setting up Charlie Austin’s goal less than a minute into the content.
And that fine display on debut earned Sims 19 further first team appearances for the Saints over the past few years, yet he managed just six in the Premier League last time round, which came as somewhat of a surprise to Southampton fans given their side’s struggles in the final third.
The South Coast outfit managed just 37 goals from their 38 Premier League games last term to finish the season as one of the lowest scorers in the division, with the likes of Nathan Redmond and Sofiane Boufal in particular struggling to produce their best form over the course of the campaign, netting just three times between them.
And with Boufal shipped out on loan to Celta Vigo for the season, despite the arrival of Mohamed Elyounoussi, it’s somewhat surprising that Southampton have allowed Sims to join Paul Clement’s Reading for the rest of the campaign, what with Redmond and Elyounoussi now the only out-and-out wingers at St Mary’s.
And given how poor Redmond was last term, as well as the fact that Elyounoussi is embarking on his first season in England, having other options besides that duo would surely have appealed to Hughes – Sims certainly fell into that bracket.
As such, letting the 21-year-old join Reading for the campaign could prove to be something of a mistake by the Saints hierarchy.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!