The lowdown: Southampton’s summer so far
The Saints have slowly but surely kicked into gear in the transfer window, completing the double capture of Gavin Bazunu and Romeo Lavia from Manchester City long with adding Armel Bella-Kotchap and Mateusz Liz to the ranks.
Ralph Hasenhuttl and CEO Martin Semmens also completed the signing of Joe Aribo from Rangers last week, whilst only Fraser Forster, Harry Lewis and Shane Long have left the club as things stand, all as free agents.
Now under the ownership of Serbian-born cable television tycoon Dragan Solak, this transfer window was always going to be a pivotal one for the club, and it appears as though their business hasn’t finished yet…
The latest: Winks and Dembele eyed
As per the Daily Mail, Southampton are believed to have ‘shown an interest’ in both Winks and Dembele.
It’s claimed that the south coast club are ‘keen on a move’ for the duo, with the Englishman seemingly deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ at Tottenham having been left out of their touring squad in South Korea.
The report added that the Saints ‘could look to take advantage’ of the contract situation surrounding Dembele – who was hailed as ‘one of the best strikers in Europe’ by his former team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri – as the 25-year-old Frenchman enters the final 12 months of his deal at Lyon.
The verdict: Smart recruitment
With current Saints frontman Che Adams linked with a move to Nottingham Forest, Dembele could be viewed as a prospective replacement for the Scotland international.
Last season, the former Celtic starlet scored 22 times and provided five assists in 35 appearances across all competitions in France, showcasing sublime form which would be welcomed to Hasenhuttl’s squad with open arms – Adams was their most prolific striker in 2021/22 with a mere seven league goals.
Even longer term, Dembele certainly backs up Shaqiri’s praises – he has racked up 137 senior club goals already and only turns 26 this week.
Who would you rather have at Southampton?
Meanwhile, Winks would bring with him the experience of 10 caps for England and 128 appearances in the Premier League, while his passing average of 88.2% last term was better than any Saints player, so he could improve their ball retention significantly.
Ultimately, both Dembele and Winks arriving at Southampton would represent further impressive pieces of business from the St Mary’s hierarchy, given the traits outlined above and, in the latter’s case in particularly, a willingness to sell.
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