Southampton Summer Transfer Window 2024

Southampton Summer Transfer Window 2024 Analysis: Strategy, Needs, Areas for Improvement and Financial Capabilities

Southampton’s Performance in the 2023/24 season

Having finished bottom of the pile in the Premier League in 2022/23, the Saints completed a season of revival in the EFL Championship and have been promoted to the top flight having won the promotion playoffs.

They did well in the league last season, amassing 87 points from their 46 games, including 26 wins, nine draws and 11 defeats. Southampton were also impressive in front of goal as they ended the season as the team with the third-highest goal tally.

However, their performances in other competitions were forgettable to say the least. The Saints were eliminated from the EFL Cup in Round 1 after a shock 3-1 loss against Gillingham. They made it to Round 5 in the FA Cup but were humbled 3-0 by Liverpool.

They will return to the Premier League after just one season away and will look to ensure they do not face relegation anytime soon.

Transfer Strategy

Southampton
Southampton defeated Leeds United 1-0 to gain promotion. (Getty Images)

Southampton have a young and exciting team with 28 players currently on the roster with an average age of 25.7 years. They have a lot of scope to add more quality in their ranks and will be greatly aided by the massive cash influx that comes with being a Premier League team.

One of the more regular members of the PL in the early 2000s, the Saints were known to be heavily reliant on their academy and scouting. Their model was to develop players to a certain level and then help them move to a bigger club for a huge fee that would provide a large profit margin for the Saints’ hierarchy.

However, shuffling between England’s top two divisions has affected their strategy slightly as they have become open to recruiting older players as well, in case the requirements are such. Competition in the PL remains at an all-time high and Southampton will have to recruit smart to hold their own in the big time.

Squad Needs & Areas of Improvement

Defenders

The Saints’ current backline consists of skipper Jack Stephens alongside Jan Bednarek and Taylor Harwood-Bellis in a back three, with Duje Caleta-Car, Armel Bella-Kotchap and Juan Larios as back-ups. However, they will need to add more quality to their ranks as they will face teams with much better offensive set-ups next season.

Midfielders

Adam Lallana
Lallana already made his return to his boyhood club. (Getty Images)

Southampton currently have just seven midfielders in their ranks and usually prefer playing five in the middle, meaning they could use a couple more players to add depth. They will need one wide midfielder and another who prefers playing central, so as to add the right skills. Having already signed Adam Lallana, they may turn to more veteran heads to find the right balance.

Strikers

With Armstrong and Adams as the two main strikers who start nearly every game together, an injury to one or both could potentially derail Southampton’s season. They need to add at least one more quality striker to ensure the level does not drop when their main pair is unavailable.

Bench Depth

The Saints will be moving up to the Premier League, where fine margins dictate outcomes and there is no scope for improvisation. In order to ensure a smooth season, they will need to add a few players to their bench to have options to alter game plans during matches.

Southampton Transfer Window 2024: Potential Signings & Top Targets

Southampton Transfer TargetsPositionCurrent ClubEstimated Fee (in EUR millions)
Yukinari SugawaraDefenderAZ Alkmaar12m
Matt O’RileyMidfielderCeltic20m
Danny IngsStrikerWest Ham United8m
Armando BrojaStrikerChelsea22m
Matt O'Riley
Matt O’Riley has been exceptional for Celtic. (Getty Images)

Yukinari Sugawara

The 24-year-old right back is coming off a productive season with AZ Alkmaar after they finished fourth in Eredivisie with 65 points from 34 games. Sugawara made 42 appearances for the club across competitions, scoring four goals and assisting nine as he contributed well.

Able to play in all positions in a back four as well as the occasional shift on the right wing, Sugawara would provide the perfect cover Russell Martin will be looking for his team to have.

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Matt O’Riley

The London-born Dane is coming off an incredible season with Celtic as he contributed immensely towards their title run. O’Riley made 49 appearances across competitions, chipping-in with an impressive 19 goals and 18 assists. Of those, 13 goals and 11 assists came in 32 Scottish Premiership games.

Adept at playing centrally, Matt O’Riley’s progress is bound to have attracted suitors from the Premier League and him being just 23 fits in Southampton’s strategically perfectly. However, they may have to pay a slightly hefty sum to secure his signature.

Danny Ings

Ings is already aware of the ins and outs at Southampton, given he has made 100 appearances for the club and has bagged 46 goals and 10 assists in that time. He has a total of 225 Premier League appearances under his belt for multiple clubs, scoring 71 goals and providing 21 assists. The Saints could use an experienced head to help their cause.

Armando Broja

Another quality striker in the making, Broja showed glimpses of his talents during a loan spell at Southampton, where he scored nine goals in 38 total appearances. Now, with 171 senior club games under his belt and 44 goals to show for it, Broja has shown he can be the first-choice striker for a Premier League team.

Southampton’s Financial Capabilities

Romeo Lavia
The Saints earned €62 million from Romeo Lavia’s sale to Chelsea. (Getty Images)

Back in the day, the Saints relied heavily on sales to fund their future acquisitions, or mostly relied on their youth academy to continue producing talented players. However, certain results and their current situation will prompt them to adopt a more win-now approach.

Budget Overview

The Saints did extremely well in the market after dropping down to the Championship last season. They offloaded 25 players for a whopping €187.24 million profit and later reinvested €21.55 million out of that to sign new players. With a net profit of €165.69 million, they seem very well-placed to make a considerable splash in the transfer market this summer.

Financial Fair Play (FFP)

Seeing the earnings in the aforementioned pointer, combined with the TV rights bonuses for being promoted should be enough to keep the Saints on the good side of FFP.

Strategic Spending

Martin and the club’s board will work together to ensure they recruit the right profiles needed for the club.

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