The Southampton fans in the Transfer Tavern are becoming increasingly concerned by the rising prospect of relegation from the Premier League this season as they prepare to face a huge set of fixtures in the final months of the campaign.
At the beginning of the season, very few would have predicted Southampton to find themselves in the midst of a relegation battle with just ten fixtures left to play, but there is no doubt they are in serious danger of suffering a shock relegation. Mauricio Pellegrino has been widely blamed for the club failure to progress this season as the club appear to have regressed under his leadership.
One of the main talking points that has vexed the vast majority of the Saints faithful this season concerns the clubs activity in the transfer market. In the mid-season window, the club failed to reinvest the funds accumulated from Virgil Van Dijk despite their ominous position and inability to build a consistent run of form in the Premier League.
Regardless of whether they stay in the Premier League or not, that must change next summer to improve the areas of the squad which the manager feels are most in need of improvement. However, Southampton might not need to spend any money at all to significantly bolster the depth of their squad, as their former employee Luke Shaw (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) is set to become a free agent in June.
Shaw’s future at Old Trafford remains unclear despite the fact Mourinho confirmed the 22-year-old will sign a contract extension with the club at the beginning of February. Since Mourinho’s admission, there has been no official update from the club, and Shaw has only featured in one fixture against Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup.
At the end of the season, it is likely that a handful of clubs will come calling for Ryan Bertrand’s signature, so Southampton should certainly be lining up their former academy product as a potential replacement. Shaw has provided glimpses of what he is capable of during his appearances for The Red Devils this season, but despite this, he has struggled to play regular first-team football due to competition from Ashley Young at left-back.
Mourinho’s preference to start Young at full-back will undoubtedly be beginning to frustrate Shaw, and his manager’s reluctance may just persuade him to run down his contract before pursuing his options elsewhere, and if he decides to take that option then Southampton should do everything they can to re-sign their former star on a free transfer.