When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Cash rich Saints shouldn't adopt hit or miss transfer policy
THE revelation that the summer transfer window saw Premier League spending soar to record levels was no surprise.
For years now, the English top flight has been recession proof.
The domestic economy has endured numerous setbacks in recent times, but the Premier League has risen above it all.
With a new overseas television deal in place, our top clubs are now richer than ever.
Manchester United collected over £60m from TV deals and prize money for winning last season’s title.
This season, the club that finishes bottom will bank more than that.
There are astonishing sums of money floating around in Premier League clubs’ bank balances now.
As a result, there is money to burn and clubs can take gambles like never before.
At Saints, the club seem to have spent well this summer – strengthening areas that needed improving (as well as one that didn’t).
But the final day of the summer transfer window did include a few surprises that ask questions about Saints’ scouting policy.
Emmanuel Mayuka was allowed to join French club Sochaux on a season long loan, meaning he cannot be recalled under any circumstance.
And of those, Rodriguez has rarely been used ‘up top’ in the Premier League.
Surely Premier League clubs with the ambitions Saints undoubtedly have need more striking options than that?
Lambert has a phenomenally good injury and suspension record, but they can’t always rely on that being the case.
Mayuka departed after making just one Premier League start last season, plus 10 more as a sub.
It is widely believed Saints paid around £3.5m to Swiss League club Young Boys to bring the Zambian international to England in the summer of 2012.
Not that long ago, anyone who Saints paid that much for would be a first choice shoe-in, rather than just a fringe player who hardly ever appeared.
Mayuka’s departure followed the earlier one of Norwegian defender Vegard Forren a few weeks before.
Signed for around £4m on the day Nigel Adkins was sacked last January, the centre half returned to his home country without ever having played for the club.
Forren admitted that he had signed for Saints without having ever met Adkins, but knowing Mauricio Pochettino was coming in.
For whatever reason, Pochettino obviously didn’t rate Forren.
So we were left with the bizarre scenario of a Premier League club spending millions on a player, only to sell him a few months later without a single second on the pitch in a first team game.
Who knows if Mayuka ever met Adkins either prior to his arrival?
Certainly, with his Swiss League background, the signing appeared to be the result of chairman Nicola Cortese’s European contacts – in the same way Papa Waigo, Guly and Gaston Ramirez had previously been signed from Italian clubs.
Now let’s look at Billy Sharp.
Signed for £1.7m in January 2012, Sharp was no doubt brought in to provide an additional goal threat alongside Rickie Lambert as Saints chased Championship promotion.
Having done exactly what he was brought in to do, Sharp was instantly surplus to requirements at St Mary’s.
Surely he had earnt the right to at least be given a chance in the top flight?
There is no room for sentiment in football – ask Jack Cork – but was Sharp’s transfer really done with the amount of short-termism it appears?
Ditto Tadanari Lee, another striker brought in amidst much fanfare in January 2012.
A Japanese international, Lee’s signing caused a stir in the Far East.
Certainly more of a stir than he has caused at Saints, where injury curtailed his appearances in 2011/12.
Lee never made a Premier League appearance last term and was loaned back to Japan shortly after Pochettino’s arrival.
Saints are obviously so cash-rich now they can afford to pay millions for players who, for different circumstances, very rarely play and are cast aside into the shadows.
Let’s be honest here – Saints have made some very good signings in the past few years, and no club gets everything right in the transfer market.
But equally, that doesn’t mean the club should adopt a ‘hit or miss’ approach to their transfer dealings.
And it doesn’t mean we can’t question the circumstances surrounding the likes of Mayuka, Forren, Sharp and Lee.
Rather than continue to pay those latter two players thousands a week to sit inactive on matchdays, why not sell them?
There must be willing takers for both players, in the Championship in Sharp’s case or in the Far East in Lee’s?
Would either of those players start a Premier League game if Lambert and/or Osvaldo were injured?
If the answer is no, then they should have been sold during the transfer window or loaned out when the emergency loan window opens next week.
Neither of those strikers appeared for Saints in the Premier League last season either, and Forte has hardly played for the club since they left the third tier in 2011.
Barnard has a good reputation at third tier level, while Forte has gone out on loan enough times to illustrate there must be a club who would take him permanently.
Surely they could do the same for Barnard and Forte?
Comments are closed on this article.