Southampton supporters in the Transfer Tavern are eagerly anticipating the remainder of the summer transfer window following the news that manager Mark Hughes has signed a long-term deal with the South Coast club.
The 54-year-old replaced the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino back in March with the Saints languishing in the Premier League’s bottom three, and as such with the brief to try and keep the team in the top-flight. And the former Stoke City boss did just that by leading the club to key victories over Bournemouth and Swansea City in the final few weeks of the campaign, eventually finishing 17th in the division and three points clear of the relegated Swans.
As such, there are many expectant Saints fans in the Tavern at present, several of whom have been reacting to the news that right back Jeremy Pied will leave the club at the expiration of his contract.
And with his departure to leave Cedric Soares as the only senior right back at St Mary’s, many of our resident Southampton fans want to see Hughes bring £675,000-rated star James Tavernier (as per Transfermarkt) to the club to give the Portugal international some much-needed competition.
Ultimately, 26-year-old Cedric wasn’t entirely at his very best for the South Coast outfit last season as they laboured to safety, although his status as the club’s first-choice right back saw him earn 32 Premier League appearances for the Saints, missing the other six only as a result of injury.
But with no real competition, the Portuguese ace was able to get away with some below-par displays over the course of the campaign – Tavernier’s arrival would give him something to think about though.
Ultimately, the Rangers defender has proven to be one of the best full backs in Scotland in the last few years with a mightily impressive 26 goals and 39 assists in 140 games for the Gers, which are staggering numbers for a right back.
As such, it’s pretty evident that the 27-year-old is hugely adept in the attacking third of the pitch, and with that becoming an ever-growing requirement for a full back in the modern game, Tavernier will surely be sought-after during the coming transfer windows.
Yes, he maybe isn’t as adept defensively as Southampton’s Cedric, but his sheer number of goals and assists would give Hughes something to think about were he to move to St Mary’s, and indeed Cedric in terms of keeping his place in the side.
Ultimately, the Portugal Euro 2016 winner didn’t enjoy the best of seasons this time round, and may be in need of some competition next term to re-discover his best form.
Tavernier’s arrival would surely do that, which is why the Saints simply must seek to lure the Englishman south of the border during the close season.
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