The Southampton fans in the Transfer Tavern are concerned about their club’s survival this season with just 11 fixtures left to play in the Premier League.
At the beginning of the season very few would have predicted that Southampton would find themselves deep in the midst of a relegation scrap as the top-flight moves towards the business end of the season, but that is exactly the situation The Saints find themselves in. Mauricio Pellegrino took the reigns from Claude Puel last summer after an eighth-place finish was deemed unsatisfactory, and so far the club have regressed under his leadership.
Southampton certainly were not aided by the speculation concerning Virgil Van Dijk that dominated the headlines throughout the first-half of the season before he completed his move to Liverpool, but that fact cannot be used as anything more than a minor explanation for their decline under Pellegrino.
During the January transfer window, Southampton reinvested just £19 million of the funds they accumulated from Van Dijk’s sale by bringing Guido Carrillo to the club from Monaco, however, the decision to bring Carrillo to the club over Theo Walcott (valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt) was misguided and nonsensical at this stage in the season.
Carrillo has not arrived at Saint Mary’s with a glowing reputation or any previous experience of playing in the Premier League. Signing the Argentine forward was certainly a gamble not worth taking considering Southampton’s current standing in the Premier League.
The wiser option would have been to sign Walcott and bring him back to the club where he made a name for himself as a youngster on the south-coast. Since moving to Everton in January, Walcott has scored 2 goals and provided an assist from his opening 3 fixtures, and his arrival has clearly boosted The Toffees.
With Southampton’s top-flight status on the line, they should have focused their interest on a proven Premier League forward such as Walcott, and their decision to sign an unproven striker with a modest goal-scoring record could ultimately relegate the club this season.