With the summer transfer window now at it’s end, it’s time to look at just what club’s have accomplished. Evaluating the Southampton transfer window, we find a club that performed well above expectations this summer. Losing out on star players Ryan Bertrand, Danny Ings, and Jannik Vestergaard, Southampton should have been an easy pick for relegation.
However, the club have done an excellent job with it’s summer moves. Replacing starters, adding depth, and bringing in new youth talent, the Saints accomplished almost all of it’s goals this summer. With the early returns now in, it’s fare to say this summer was one to remember for the Saints. Without further ado, though, let’s take a look and grade Southampton’s performance in the transfer window.
Grading the Southampton Transfer Window
Theo Walcott – Free Transfer
Possessing a limited amount of funds this summer, Southampton began their summer focus with a familiar target. On-loan with the club last season, Southampton made Theo Walcott’s return official prior to end of last season. Signing the former Saints academy star on a free transfer from Everton, Walcott is now set to remain with the club for the remainder of his playing career.
Besides the valuable experience and quality that Walcott brings, the signing also shines a massive light on the future. As part of the two-year contract, Walcott will also join the club’s academy as a coach once his playing days are over. A total win for the club, this is an A+ move.
Romain Perraud – €13 million
Losing longtime stalwart Ryan Bertrand to a free transfer earlier in the summer, Ralph Hasenhuttl was desperate to sign a new first team left-back. Seen as one of the club’s biggest needs, Southampton wasted little time in signing Romain Perraud. The first true signing of the summer, the French left-back may also be the club’s most important signing.
Joining from Ligue 1 side Brest, Perraud reportedly cost the Saints €13 million. An expensive transfer given Southampton’s financial status, the move appears to have paid off for the club. Starting the club’s first two Premier League matches, Perraud is the perfect left-back option for this club. Going forward this season, Perraud looks set to be a crucial signing.
Dynel Simeu – £1.5 million
Signed from Chelsea, Dynel Simeu represents a long-term project for Southampton. The 19-year-old centre-back joined the Saints in a £1.5 million move this summer and is expected to be a regular member of the club’s B-team. However, his position with the club is certain to change as the days and months go on.
One of Simeu’s best qualities is his leadership. Serving as captain for Chelsea’s U23 side, Simeu led the Blues’ senior academy side by example. Now with Southampton, the 19-year-old centre-back will be expected to put his leadership skills on full display. If Simeu can lead by example for Southampton’s B-team, it seems likely that the Hampshire-born defender will soon make the move in the club’s first team.
Tino Livramento – £5 million
The signing of the summer from a Southampton point of view. The 18-year-old right-back joined Southampton from Chelsea early in August for a reported £5 million. Less than a month later, the former Chelsea youth player of the year has already become a young star for Southampton.
Starting each of the Saints’ first three Premier League matches, Livramento has shown quality beyond his years. An extremely skillful and talented defender, he pairs this skillset with an impressive attacking quality. Overall, Livramento is the Saints’ best signing in years. The only downside remains Chelsea’s buy-back clause for the English defender. Until that’s cashed in though, expect Livramento to be one of Southampton’s best players.
Adam Armstrong – £15 million
If you ask the average supporter to rank the importance of Southampton’s summer transfers, the signing of Adam Armstrong would likely rank first. Signed as a replacement for Danny Ings, Armstrong’s performance this season will have a major effect on the Saints’ final positioning in the table. Based on early returns, it seems like this move is another great one for Southampton.
Scoring on debut against Everton, Armstrong has been one of the Saints’ best performers this season. While the English forward has failed to score since his strike at Goodison Park, his positioning and form in each of the first three matches has been impressive. Should Armstrong continue to play like this going forward, he will be another good signing in this impressive summer window.
Armando Broja – Loan
Brought into the squad with Adam Armstrong, Armando Broja helps fill out the Southampton first team. Signed on a season-long loan from Chelsea, Broja has already established himself as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first choice backup. The biggest question, however, comes on what level of performance can be expected from the Albanian international.
Early returns suggest that Broja could be another quality signing. Making just one substitute appearance in the Premier League so far for Southampton, Broja utilized the Saints’ Carabao Cup match at Newport County to show his true ability. Scoring twice in his 65 minutes of action, Broja showed off his goal scoring touch. Whether or not that touch will extend into the Premier League is yet to be seen.
Thierry Small – TBD
While Thierry Small is not a massive signing in the present during the transfer window for Southampton, the English full-back could represent one in the future. A star in the Everton youth academy, Small departed the Toffees this summer for Southampton. A promise of first team action secured the 17-year-old’s services. That said, it’s unlikely supporters will see Small in action soon.
A second true left-back signing, Small sits directly behind Romain Perraud in the club’s pecking order. However, with Kyle Walker-Peters proving adept to playing on the left side, Small now finds himself third in line at the position. A B-team member for now, it could be a year or two before this transfer can truly be graded. Considering the promise Small has shown though, this signing is still a good one for Southampton.
Lyanco – €7 million
The final move of the transfer window for Southampton saw the club move for a much needed centre-back. Needing to replace Jannik Vestergaard, the Saints moved quick to sign Brazilian Lyanco from Torino. Despite the fact that Lyanco was often injured during his time in Italy, the 24-year-old will give Southampton much needed depth this season.
Unlike some of Southampton’s other summer signings, Lyanco is unlikely to start early on. In fact, the defender almost certaintly slides into third on the Saints’ depth chart behind preferred substitute Jan Bednarek. That said, the Brazilian provides Ralph Hasenhuttl with cover at the centre-back position. Once Lyanco gets on the field, an evaluation of his quality will be much easier.
For now though, the 24-year-old represents a €7 million depth signing.
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