The Southampton fans were drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern last weekend after their side were plunged into further relegation trouble following a 3-0 defeat against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s side suffered a 3-0 defeat in the north-east on Saturday afternoon in a six-pointer clash which served to intensify the relegation concerns amongst the resident Saints contingent propping up our bar. Southampton’s defeat was merely a continuation of their shocking run of form in recent months, and unfortunately for the supporters, they are showing absolutely no sign of improvement at either end of the pitch.
It’s difficult to see where their next win is coming from at this moment in time under Pellegrino’s leadership, so it’s easy to sympathise with the concerns of the Saints faithful. Whether or not the club manage to avoid relegation this season remains to be seen, but regardless of whether they manage to beat the drop this season, the acquisition of new talent will be absolutely necessary to avoid a repeat of their woes in the next campaign.
Although it may not be the signing to completely transform Southampton’s fortunes, they should consider a move for Arsenal’s emerging talent Eddie Nketiah in the summer if reports in The Daily Mirror which claim The Gunners are open to the possibility of allowing him to move on loan next summer prove to be true.
The 18-year-old is unproven, but his progress this season suggests he would be worth taking a chance on in either The Championship or the Premier League. So far this season, Nketiah has scored 9 goals and provided 2 assists from 11 appearances for Arsenal’s U23s, including braces against both Manchester City and Manchester United.
It seems that Arsene Wenger is rather reluctant to introduce him into the first-team too quickly, as he has only handed him a handful of cameo appearances so far – predominantly in cup competitions. The highlight of his season so far arrived when he came off the bench against Norwich back in October 2017 to single-handedly overturn a 1 goal deficit by scoring a brace which clinched a 2-1 victory for his side. Nketiah’s impact that day suggests he could be destined for a bright future in English football.
Although Southampton’s immediate concern relates solely to their Premier League survival mission, they will need to look forward to the summer transfer window sooner rather than later to identify players who could enable the club to improve on their current predicament.
Nketiah is far from proven at the top level, but his progress will certainly be worth keeping an eye for the remainder of the campaign, as his personal motivation to prove himself in the top-flight could prove to be a valuable weapon for Southampton next season regardless of what division they find themselves in.