Leaving their mark in the summer transfer window, Southampton are ready and set for the beginning of the 2019/20 English Premier League season. After briefly setting the scene in pre-season, this article will envision the Saints’ season as it plays out with some striking predictions.
Southampton Predictions for this Season
Addressing their attacking woes this summer, Southampton completed an undefeated preseason which included victories over FC Koln and Feyenoord. Besides both of those bright points, Southampton have also achieved their first preseason under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The hard-working Austrian pushed the side this summer while also reintroducing former busts Wesley Hoedt and Sofiane Boufal. Mixing these players along with the Saints newest signings, Southampton look set to have a bounce-back campaign. Targeting the mid-table, Saints are also likely to target some major cup victories in both the Carabao and FA Cups.
Looking at the first team, however, it’s time to make some predictions. So let’s get to it and take a look at some of the biggest and boldest Southampton predictions.
James Ward-Prowse is Named PL Player of the Season
Becoming a major force under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, James Ward-Prowse finally achieved the level of talent that many expected of him last season. Scoring seven times last season for Saints, Prowsey became a major playmaker during the second half of the campaign. Despite having zero assists last season, Ward-Prowse gave Southampton a deadly edge whenever he was on the pitch.
This season, however, Ward-Prowse hit’s a high that no one would have ever expected from him. Scoring 15 times for Southampton, Ward-Prowse adds another 20 assists to his total this season. Playing a major role in every single Southampton victory, Ward-Prowse earns plaudits across the league. In the end, his performance not only leads the Saints to a top ten finish in the league but also lead’s to the Englishman being named as the Premier League’s Player of the Season. Talk about a bold start to our Southampton predictions.
Sofiane Boufal Is This Season’s Mohamed Elyounoussi
Despite having an underperforming loan stint at Celta Vigo last season, Sofiane Boufal remains a player full of potential. Unfortunately for Southampton, it remains just potential at this stage. While few would argue with Boufal’s ability on the ball, the Moroccan remains a troublesome player. Giving possession away far too easily at times, Boufal reminds many of Nathan Redmond prior to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s arrival.
Unfortunately for those supporters, Boufal proves to be less Redmond and more Mohamed Elyounoussi this season. Struggling to usurp both Redmond and new signing Moussa Djenepo in the starting XI, Boufal quickly falls down the pecking order. Making just a handful of appearances this season, Boufal becomes another rusty anchor on the Saint’s wage book.
Che Adams Scores Five Goals
Despite an amazing start to his Southampton career, Che Adams finally hits a wall once the Premier League season kicks off. Scoring three times in his first three matches for Saints, Adams has seen his already unreasonable expectations skyrocket. Expected to be a top goalscorer in the Premier League this season, Adams’ will fall far short of those expectations.
Scoring just five times in the league this season, Adams’ will struggle from the word go. However, this is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s actually alright. While the Englishman does struggle to find the back of the net, he does manage to contribute in the attacking end of the pitch. Showing improvement every match, Adams follows the pattern he has shown throughout his career. Struggle in year one, dominate in year two.
Jake Vokins and Michael Obafemi Become First Team Regulars
One of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s greatest accomplishments thus far has been his ability to promote and develop the great talent currently on display in the Southampton youth ranks. Yan Valery, Callum Slattery, and Kayne Ramsay are just a few names that Hasenhuttl has promoted during his time with the club.
That said, two players who promise to play a major role in the Saints first team this season are Michael Obafemi and Jake Vokins. Becoming increasingly fit under the leadership of Hasenhuttl, Obafemi becomes the number three striker for Southampton. A regular second-half sub this season, Obafemi becomes even more of a fan favourite thanks to his exciting runs and pure pace that he displays.
Joining Obafemi in the first team will be Jake Vokins. The 19-year-old full-back is the first choice to replace Ryan Bertrand this season. Earning a number of starts while Bertrand is out injured, Vokins joins fellow full-back Yan Valery as the faces of the Saints defence for years to come.