Southampton supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern during the international break, what with their team entering the fortnight interruption off the back of beating Wigan Athletic to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
The South Coast outfit edged past Fulham, Watford, and West Brom to reach the last eight of the world’s oldest club competition, thus setting up a meeting with giant-killers Wigan, who produced one of the biggest upsets of all time in beating Manchester City in the preceding round. However, the Saints did what City couldn’t and got the better of Paul Cook’s men on March 18, with goals from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Cedric Soares sealing the Saints’ place in the last four, where they will face Chelsea next month.
As such, there have been many delighted Southampton fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their club can translate their fine cup form into the Premier League, starting with their trip to West Ham on Saturday.
Yet some of our resident Saints supporters are already looking ahead to the summer and what business their side could seek to do if they stay up, with many of the opinion that Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, currently on loan at West Ham, should reignite his career by moving to the South Coast.
Ultimately, the England international has endured a miserable time ever since being made a surplus to requirements by City manager Pep Guardiola back in 2016, with the 30-year-old attempting to kick-start his career in Italy with Torino last term, only to keep just five clean sheets and concede 64 goals in just 37 games for the Serie A outfit.
And things haven’t been much better for the Englishman at the London Stadium this term, with Hart starting out as the club’s number one before hitting a tricky run of form, from which he was replaced by Adrian back in December, only to reclaim the gloves just prior to the international break.
Clearly, the 30-year-old is not even close to the goalkeeper that helped City win Premier League titles back in 2012 and 2014, to the point that his place in England’s World Cup squad is under threat – it appears that only experience will earn him a spot on the plane to Russia.
Thus, Hart needs a completely fresh start away from both the Etihad Stadium and the London Stadium, and with Southampton’s goalkeeping ranks also unconvincing, he should look to make the move to St Mary’s.
Fraser Forster, like Hart, has struggled for form this season and, like Hart, lost his place in the first team back in December, with Alex McCarthy deputising well since then to keep his compatriot out of the starting eleven.
However, there are some concerns over McCarthy’s long-term suitability to the role of number one goalkeeper, and while Hart has hardly proven his worth in recent times, there is little doubting that the 30-year-old remains a fine goalkeeper.
It appears that the England international needs a fresh start somewhere, and at a club where the first-choice goalkeeper is somewhat uncertain, Southampton could well be the ideal place for the £10.8 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) to reignite his career.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!