Premier League

Southampton simply must rival Burnley and Cardiff City for Matt Phillips

Southampton simply must rival Burnley and Cardiff City for Matt Phillips

According to a recent report from The Daily Mirror, Matt Phillips could be set for a move away in the January transfer window. The winger currently plays his football in the Championship with West Brom and has done so since leaving Queens Park Rangers back in 2016, with his fine form for the Baggies this term seemingly attracting interest from some clubs in the Premier League.

And that’s because reports suggest that Burnley and Cardiff City are eyeing up a New Year move for the 27-year-old in a bid to strengthen their respective survival missions, with Southampton another side who should be in for the winger in a bid to rid them of awful summer signing Mohamed Elyounoussi.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, things simply haven’t worked out at all well for the 24-year-old following his move from Swiss side Basel during the summer, what with the winger failing to score or even lay on an assist in 12 Premier League appearances for the South Coast outfit.

And with just one start under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl following his appointment as boss back in December, one wonders whether the Norway international, capped 22 times by his country, has much of an immediate future at St Mary’s in the Saints’ quest to try and avoid relegation to the Championship.

Significantly though, with fellow winger Nathan Redmond showing glimpses of promise following Hasenhuttl’s arrival with two goals and two assists in his last five appearances, there is clearly a role for the wingers to play in Hasenhuttl’s side going forward in 2019 – yet Elyounoussi doesn’t look like the man for the job.

And that is why the in-form and in-demand Phillips is the man the Saints must seek to target this month in a bid to bolster that area of the field, and thus strengthen their survival hopes.

The 27-year-old is no stranger to the Premier League having turned out for Blackpool, QPR, and West Brom in the English top-flight, and while his numbers aren’t exactly ground-breaking with 11 goals in 109 appearances, his tally of 21 assists equates to a direct contribution every 223 minutes – how Southampton would cry out for numbers like that in their present plight.

And the Scotland international would be arriving at St Mary’s this month full of confidence and in fine form having scored five goals and laid on six assists for Darren Moore’s Baggies this term – yes, that is in the Championship, but as the Saints proved last January with much money spent on out-of-favour Guido Carrillo, there is no substitute for form and confidence.

And that is what Phillips would bring to St Mary’s were the South Coast outfit to seal a deal for his services this month – he has excelled in an attacking and free-flowing West Brom team this term, which is exactly what Southampton need to try and be if they are to stay up.

As such, with Burnley and Cardiff reportedly keen on the 27-year-old, Southampton must seek to join and indeed win the race for the £8.1 million-rated winger (as per Transfermarkt), as doing so would not only strengthen their survival chances, but it would also rid them of awful Elyounoussi.

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

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