COMMENT: Saints need to ship out Osvaldo and bring in a replacement before transfer window slams shut (From Daily Echo)
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COMMENT: Saints need to ship out Osvaldo and bring in a replacement before transfer window slams shut
THE final day of any transfer window is always a fascinating one for football supporters.
Some might be expecting new signings, others fearing their top players could be sold off as panic starts to spread.
Here at Saints, there is speculation that record buy Dani Osvaldo’s brief time at St Mary’s could be running out.
I would expect him to depart on loan in the wake of a two-week suspension for an alleged head butt on Jose Fonte in training.
The obvious question to then ask if the controversial Italian international does join Juventus – or anyone else, for that matter – is who Mauricio Pochettino will bring in as a replacement, either stop-gap or permanently?
For sure, the manager does need an extra body if Osvaldo leaves.
Rickie Lambert will almost certainly remain at St Mary’s after the window slams shut at 11pm tomorrw night, and that didn’t always look the case earlier this month – not prior to Nicola Cortese’s dramatic departure anyway.
After Lambert, though, Pochettino does not have many striking options – as illustrated earlier this week when 18-year-old Sam Gallagher led the line against Arsenal on his first ever Premier League start.
The youngster certainly let no-one down – indeed, he won rave reviews for his performance – but it would be unfair to ask him to shoulder too much responsibility at such a young age.
Jay Rodriguez is Saints’ top scorer this season, but he has won a regular place in the side as an attacking wideman, rather than a frontline forward.
Who else is there?
Billy Sharp – who can consider himself unlucky not to get a Premier League chance with Saints - and Lee Barnard – who probably can’t - have been farmed out on loan again this month while Tadanari Lee, the man who arrived in a blizzard of hype and expectation, has had his contract cancelled.
Jonathan Forte remains at the club, but Artur Boruc has more chance of leading the line in a striking crisis than he has.
That leaves only one alternative, and it’s the one Saints are pursuing – ie, shipping Osvaldo out and bringing a strike replacement in.
There are a variety of ways you can search for a new forward.
You can see who’s not getting a regular game for his Premier League club, or you can see who’s doing well in the Championship.
Burnley’s Danny Ings, the lad who grew up near Southampton and who is the second tier’s top scorer, stands out as a potential buy.
Saints have form when it comes to signing young-ish strikers from the Clarets, as that was where they got Rodriguez from.
But Pochettino will almost certainly bring in any new striker from abroad.
It could well be someone he has worked with previously, as was the case when he signed his former Espanyol loanee Osvaldo.
Foreign managers in the Premier League tend to look overseas with regards to new signings, and Pochettino is no exception to that rule.
We cannot expect him to appear on Sky Sports, in his car with the window wound down a la Harry Redknapp, giving reporters transfer-related news.
That is not his style.
But we can expect some movement in the transfer window at St Mary’s before it slams shut tomorrow night.
And such moves are to be applauded.
To sum up, Saints need to ship Osvaldo out – for squad morale, if nothing else - and they need to find a replacement quickly.
They don’t have to pay over the odds for a replacement.
In fact, they don’t have to pay anything in terms of a fee - a loan signing with a bit of pedigree and hungry to succeed will do.
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