It hasn’t been the best of seasons so far for Southampton, with many of their supporters in the Transfer Tavern wondering whether their side have what it takes to record a fifth successive top ten finish in the Premier League come the end of the campaign.
Mauricio Pellegrino replaced the sacked Claude Puel over the summer despite the Frenchman leading the club to eighth place in the English top-flight, as well as to the final of the League Cup where they could quite easily have beaten Manchester United on another day. Nonetheless, that was deemed not good enough by the Saints board and former Alaves chief Pellegrino was handed the job, but he hasn’t quite had the impact they were hoping for with the South Coast outfit very much in a relegation battle heading into the second half of the season.
As such, several of our resident Saints fans are hoping their club can bring players in by the end of January in a bid to stave off the threat of relegation, and one man who could be on his way to the club is Monaco’s Guido Carrillo, who has worked under Pellegrino before during their stint at Estudiantes.
The 26-year-old has struggled for regular football at the Stade Louis II this term and as such looks set for a January move, with the Saints reportedly seeking a £15 million deal to bring him to St Mary’s.
And were the Argentine to indeed make the move to the South Coast, it could turn out to be a make-or-break deal for Pellegrino in his bid to remain as Southampton manager.
Ultimately, the Saints are seriously struggling and very much in a relegation scrap, with goals coming at a premium at a rate of just one per game so far. That’s simply not good enough and must be improved in the second half of the campaign.
Pellegrino clearly recognises this given they’ve been linked with various forwards in recent times, but it’s Carrillo whom looks like joining the club, which the Saints boss may be pleased with given he played for him before at Estudiantes.
And the fact that he played for him before is what makes this particular deal make or break for the Argentine – on the surface, it appears to be a risk, but Pellegrino must know enough about Carrillo that he can be the man to fire the club up the table.
The Saints boss needs players to come in and hit the ground running if the club are to stay in the top-flight, and he himself is to stay in a job. Add in the £15 million price-tag, a sizable sum of money, and the pressure will very much be on the 26-year-old to come in and deliver the goods.
But there is just as much pressure on Pellegrino’s shoulders. If this transfer doesn’t work, the Argentine could well be out of a job very quickly, and questions will be asked about Carrillo’s suitability to a league he has never played in before.
If it does work though, it could completely change the course of their season, and indeed secure Pellegrino more time at St Mary’s. There doesn’t appear to be too much of an in between.
Saints fans have been crying out for a forward for many a transfer window now, and Pellegrino looks set to splash £15 million on one that has never played in England, and one that has not exceeded ten goals in a season during his time at Monaco.
But that’s not to say that Carrillo won’t come in and save their season, and Pellegrino will surely be hoping that he does in a transfer which could hold the key to the Southampton manager’s future.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!