Premier League A-Z: Ings' future will shape Southampton's summer
- Credit: PA
Deputy Sports editor Mark Armstrong runs the rule over Southampton in the latest in our Premier League A-Z ahead of the new season.
Southampton endured a tricky second half to the season under Ralph Hasenhuttl during the last campaign but were never seriously troubled at the wrong end of the table.
However, there is work to do and the Saints are a club who have keenly felt the loss of revenue through the pandemic.
The loss of fans throughout last season has impacted the budget in such a way that rather than shopping from a position of strength, they have had to drop their sights a little and dare we say it, start shopping in the market Norwich are looking to exploit.
What does the squad look like?
Much will depend on the future of star striker Danny Ings. The former Liverpool and Burnley forward scored 12 goals in 29 Premier League appearances and is heading into the final year of his contract at St Mary’s.
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The Saints would love to tie him down to a long-term contract but reports have emerged the England international is looking to move on and try his luck with a bigger club after his time at Liverpool was ruined by injuries.
The two Manchester clubs are apparently interested but Southampton will have to weigh up whether it’s worth cashing in on a player with just 12 months left on his contract.
Hasenhuttl has said Ings will remain on the south coast but this could be posturing as they look to extract the largest fee possible.
Whether Ings remains or not, Southampton are keen on adding firepower to their squad with only Che Adams as another senior option currently. Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong is a name on their list but we’re still at a stage in the window when Rovers are demanding top dollar for their star striker. Quite how that plays out as we head into August is open to question with Armstrong also going into the last year of his deal.
Aston Villa admire midfielder James Ward-Prowse but the Saints are in control of that situation in as much as the 26-year-old still has four years left on his contract.
In terms of incomings, Southampton are in desperate need of reinforcements in the full back areas. Ryan Bertrand left as a free agent this summer to sign for Leicester City and they have also struggled down the right flank whenever Kyle Walker-Peters has been unavailable.
Theo Walcott has joined after leaving Everton on a free but Takumi Minamino has returned to Liverpool after his loan spell. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wants time to assess the Japan international this summer but it appears unlikely he will be heading back to Southampton.
Last City meeting...
Friday, June 19, 2020: Norwich City 0 Southampton 3
Any hope that Norwich City could use Project Restart to catapult themselves away from the relegation zone was quickly extinguished by a polished Southampton.
Danny Ings opened the scoring after half time before Stuart Armstrong doubled the Saints’ lead. Norwich looked lacklustre all afternoon and City old boy Nathan Redmond rounded off the win when he slotted into the bottom corner.
Did you know?
Former Norwich City skipper and Lowestoft Town boss Craig Fleming is the first team assistant coach at St Mary’s.