Player News - Southampton

Date: Team: Pos:

Southampton's struggles continued as they dropped a 1-0 decision to Stoke City on the season's final day.

Manager Claude Puel has come under increasing fire as his side have limped down the stretch of the 2016-17 Premier League season. The Saints were never in any danger of relegation and finished in 8th position but Sunday represented their fifth consecutive home match without a goal. Given the amount of money spent on reinforcements like Sophiane Boufal and Manolo Gabbiadini, Saints supporters would have expected more and there have been increasingly loud cries for the French manager to be relieved of his duties. It will be an interesting summer at St. Mary's.
Source: espnfc.com
May 21 - 1:03 PM

Southampton manager Claude Puel has brushed off questions about his future, describing chairman Ralph Krueger’s forthcoming end of season review as "normal".

Poor results have fed mounting speculation in recent weeks that Puel's tenure at St. Mary's will be brought to an unceremonious end after the season is complete. After their 0-0 home draw with Manchester United last night, Puel's men have now failed to score at home in 350 minutes of football. The chairman refused a chance to allay fears for Puel's job, instead insisting that all football matters would be left to Director Les Reed. Puel's reaction to questions was frank: "He (Krueger) says just we make a review about the season and I think it is the same with all trainers. Many teams have a debrief at the end of the season and this is normal but the end of the season is after the last game and the last game is very important." The Saints close their season with a visit to Stoke on Sunday.
May 18 - 10:14 AM

Southampton snapped a five-match winless streak to stay on course for a top-half finish, as they held beat relegated Middlesbrough 2-1 on Saturday.

Manager Claude Puel made seven chances from the side that fell 2-0 to Arsenal on Wednesday, and two of his recalled attackers combined to produce the break through just before half time. Jay Rodriguez put the Saints in front in the 42nd minute when he lost his mark to slam home a low half-volley off Shane Long's cross after a neat build-up. With a lead at the break, Puel opted to introduce Redmond, who would then double the Saints lead shortly thereafter. Rodriguez was again involved as his pass found Redmond, who cut inside before curling a beautiful strike into the far top corner. The Saints would have a chance to make it 3-0 but Long, who was brought down in the area by Brad Guzan, smashed his penalty high and over the bar. While Boro would pull one back late through Patrick Bamford, it was to little too late. The result sees Southampton climb up to 9th, ahead of their season finale with Stoke City.
Source: NBC Sports
May 13 - 1:04 PM

Southampton striker Shane Long has endured a torrid season at Southampton, but West Ham are rumoured to be keen on whisking him away from the south coast at the end of the season.

The striker was the club's player of the season last term, but has really struggled since Claude Puel took over last summer. He has just three goals in 29 appearances, being called offside more times in individual games on a number of occasions amidst some frustrating performances. However, in spite of the Irishman's profligacy in front of goal, Slaven Bilic is interested in bringing him to London, hoping that the Irishman's pace will suit the long pitch at the London Stadium.
May 11 - 5:26 PM

Claude Puel confirms Virgil van Dijk will not play again this season but insists the highly-regarded centre-back will remain at the club despite strong links to several Premier League sides.

The Dutch defender hasn’t featured since suffering a foot problem back in January, an injury which saw van Dijk go under the knife, with many believing he had played his last game for the south coast side. But, speaking ahead of Wednesday's game against Arsenal, Puel insisted the 25-year-old is progressing nicely with a view to him being available for the start of 2017/18: "Now it’s okay. His surgery is finished, he can work normally, he can start in the gym the work to come back for next season, ready for next season with us." Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Everton have all shown interest in van Dijk and if the Saints can retain the services of their star man, amid speculation of a £50m bid, then it would serve as a real statement of intent given that the club have sold key assets in summers gone by.
May 8 - 1:10 PM

While their attack had little to offer on the day, Southampton still came away with a point from Anfield, thanks in large part to a penalty save by Fraser Forster in a 0-0 final.

To say the Saints were ineffective in their attack would be a gross understatement. For the first time this season, they were unable to register a single shot in the first half, and hardly troubled Simon Mignolet all afternoon. However, the defense did a fantastic job containing the Liverpool attack. Just after the hour mark, Jack Stephens was adjudged to have used his arm in an effort to clear the ball out of the box, and James Milner, who has been perfect from the spot all season, took a quality penalty, but Forster reacted quickly and stretched to tip the ball away. The keeper would come up big once more, tipping a Marko Grujic header over the bar in the closing minutes. The Saints still have four matches left to play, but it's too late to achieve more than a mid-table finish.
Source: NBC Sports
May 7 - 10:29 AM

Chelsea are reportedly leading a chase comprised of most of the Premier League's Top Six to sign Virgil Van Dijk.

The Southampton defender, who has been out since January with an ankle injury, is attracting interest from Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City as well as The Blues. Chelsea are thought to be willing to bid $65 million for the 25 year old Dutchman, with the added incentive of a loan deal for Danish defender Andreas Christensen, who Chelsea have sent on loan to Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach for the past two seasons. Antonio Conte is seeking to shore up his backline which has been impermeable and shaky at points this season in addition to replacing the departing John Terry. It seems inevitable that Southampton's captain will join the list of names of ex-Saints dotted among the league's best teams even though he signed a six year contract just last summer, one year after arriving for $16.7 million from Celtic.
Source: NBC Sports
May 2 - 1:18 PM

Southampton manager Claude Puel has done little to dispel doubts surrounding Shane Long's future at the club.

Long was one of the outstanding performers in the side last season, but he has had a frustrating time this term under Claude Puel. He has started just nine league games in this campaign, appearing off the bench on 20 occasions, highlighting his fall in the Saints' pecking order. He has scored just five times in all competitions this season, an unacceptable low tally for a Premier League striker and less than Charlie Austin and equal with new signing Manolo Gabbiadini. When quizzed about Long's status, Puel was non-committal: "We will see all this at the end of the season." He did concede that Long offers a different option to his other assets, but failed to elaborate on his future, saying: "It’s not the moment to speak, to have conversations about this."
May 1 - 8:39 PM

Southampton's injury list is about to get two names short as both striker Charlie Austin and defender Matt Targett are back in full training.

However, the duo are still readjusting to the pace required for first team football and will not be used on Saturday against Hull City. Sam McQueen has shaken off the minor groin injury which sidelined him recently, though his return is unlikely to affect Southampton's starting XI.
Apr 28 - 2:54 PM

Ryan Bertrand scored a late goal against former club Chelsea but it wasn't nearly enough as the Blues beat the Saints 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

After a number of reunions in the tunnel leading up to the match, Ryan Bertrand can be happy with scoring a goal against his former mates but not with the outcome for his side. The Saints trailed early and often against the leaders with Eden Hazard opening the scoring after five minutes. Oriol Romeu equalized in the 24th minute but Gary Cahill put the Blues ahead to stay in first half stoppage time. Diego Costa extended the lead twice and ended it as a contest before Bertrand got his goal deep in second half stoppage time to salvage a little pride if not a useful result.
Source: espnfc.com
Apr 25 - 6:18 PM

Southampton manager Claude Puel has said that he cannot guarantee that new signing Martin Caceres will make his Saints debut this season.

The Uruguayan arrived at Southampton as an emergency signing in February. He had been a free agent since his contract at Italian giants Juventus expired and was signed to replace Jose Fonte who left the club and Virgil Van Dijk who picked up a season-ending injury. However, Caceres lacked match fitness upon his arrival, and spent time playing with the Under-23s regaining his sharpness. In the interim, the makeshift combination of Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens has proved quite successful, to the extent that Caceres is yet to play for the first team. Puel indicated that Caceres may have opportunities to play: "...Caceres is a good player with a good training session and I think he’s going to have opportunities until the end of the season." However, when asked if Caceres may not appear at all, Puel responded: "Yes." He later described himself as "happy with Jack and Maya".
Apr 25 - 8:16 AM

Southampton manager Claude Puel has indicated that he hopes to change the culture at St Mary's of selling key players in the summer transfer window.

In recent seasons, the Saints have lost players such as Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, and many more to other Premier League sides. Speculation this season has hinted at more of the same with Van Dijk attracting plenty of interest and rumours surround the futures of Dusan Tadic, Ryan Bertrand, Cedric Soares, and Jay Rodriguez too. On the topic, Puel highlighted a concerted effort between him and the club's director of football, Les Reed: ""We work all season with Les [Reed] to see different players and I hope, of course, we can keep the maximum of our good players [this summer]," Puel said. "It’s important to continue this work [with this group of players] where we improve from the beginning of the season." It's clear Puel views continuity as key to the Saints' long-term success. On VVD, Puel admitted he can't stop rumours circulating, but reiterated that he wants to keep his captain at the club.
Apr 25 - 8:07 AM

Southampton will have Spanish defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu available for their match against Chelsea on Tuesday.

Romeu, 25, has been hugely important to Southampton's defensive strength this season in spite of losing Jose Fonte to West Ham and Virgil Van Dijk to injury. He has been very effective in controlling the space in front of the back four, making tackles and interceptions at a higher rate than any of his teammates. Romeu will presumably retake his place in the starting XI on Tuesday when the Saints visit Stamford Bridge after serving a two match suspension for accumulating ten yellow cards this season. His manager has lauded him in his pre-match press conference, comparing him to PL Player of the Season N'Golo Kanté: ""I think he’s not far off Kante," Puel said. "If we see the quality of his games since the beginning of the season, for me, he [Romeu] is not far off Kante because he’s very consistent and every game he gives good performances, with consistency and quality."
Apr 24 - 7:56 AM

Southampton manager Claude Puel had plenty of good news in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side's clash with Chelsea.

The major news was the imminent return to training of both striker Charlie Austin and full-back Matt Targett, both of whom have been out of action for a number of months. His side are also bolstered by the return of influential defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu from suspension, although Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has prospered in his absence. Young full-back Sam McQueen is the only other short term absentee unavailable to face the Blues on Tuesday. He is out with a groin issue.
Apr 24 - 7:44 AM

The return of Italian striker Manolo Gabbiadini came on a rough afternoon for Southampton as the Saints suffered a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Claude Puel's side were overmatched by Manchester City on Saturday. The Saints actually had the early chance of the match, when Dusan Tadic thumped high and over after receiving a pass in the area from Gabbiadini, but that was as close as they would get to finding the back of the net. Pep Guardiola's side then flexed their attacking muscles in the second-half as Vincent Kompany headed home in the 55th minute, before Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero put the match to bed with strikes in the 77th and 80th. The result sees Southampton remain in ninth place, even on 40 points with Watford but ahead in goal difference.
Source: NBC Sports
Apr 15 - 4:02 PM


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