Southampton supporters have been pretty frustrated in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side fail to get past a stubborn Stoke City at St Mary’s on Saturday, eventually drawing 0-0 with the fellow Premier League strugglers.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s men went into their clash with the Potters off the back of drawing 1-1 at Burnley in their preceding league outing, which was a decent response to losing 2-0 at Liverpool in the match before. Yet the Saints were unable to record a sixth league victory of the campaign on Saturday as they were held by Paul Lambert’s side, leaving them just a place and a point above the Premier League’s relegation zone with nine games of the campaign remaining.
Consequently, there have been many disappointed Saints fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their side can indeed get the wins required between now and May to preserve their top-flight status.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Southampton fans to discuss, not least recent reports linking them with a summer move for West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster.
And while the 34-year-old would be a fine addition to the Saints squad, they should forget about making a move for the Baggies shot-stopper, and instead turn their attentions to another relegation-threatened side, namely Stoke City and goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Ultimately, the 24-year-old is well on his way to becoming England’s next number one goalkeeper given his recent efforts for the Potters, and while he has made some errors this season, there’s little doubting his capabilities between the sticks in the top-flight.
And Saints fans will be well aware of those abilities following the shot-stopper’s man-of-the-match display at St Mary’s on Saturday, making several important saves to thwart their side and earn Lambert’s men a vital point in their battle against relegation.
More importantly though, there are some concerns over the form of current Saints number one Fraser Forster, to the point that the 29-year-old has lost his place to Alex McCarthy in the last nine Premier League games.
The England international conceded 30 goals and kept just four clean sheets in 20 league appearances prior to the 0-0 draw against Manchester United back on December 30, the game in which McCarthy took the gloves following many errors from Forster.
And while McCarthy has since done well between the sticks, there’s little doubting that Butland is a better goalkeeper than his compatriot, and one who is set for great things for both club and country in the future.
And while there are likely to be many sides after the 24-year-old’s services this summer were the Potters to get relegated, Southampton would guarantee him first team football week in week out, and thus the opportunity to continue making a case for the England number one jersey.
As such, the Saints must forget about a move for Foster, and instead opt for £16.2 million-rated Butland (as per Transfermarkt) were Stoke to lose their Premier League status this season.
Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!