It has been another excellent season for Southampton. Despite once again losing players to some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, they secured Europa League football by finishing sixth, their highest finish in the Premier League era.
It seems like things are on the up for the Saints, which makes it even more mystifying that manager Ronald Koeman could leave the club to join Everton.
This was Koeman’s second campaign with the south-coast club after replacing Mauricio Pochettino in 2014. He has done an excellent job with the Saints over the last two years and followed the seventh place finish from his first season up with another impressive 12 months.
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Everton, on the other hand, have struggled for form, and their 11th place finish saw the end of Roberto Martinez’s time at the end of the club. The Toffees have been taken over by billionaire Farhad Moshiri, though this seems unlikely to keep Romelu Lukaku at the club, while both John Stones and Ross Barkley will also be potential targets for other sides.
Moshiri seems to have decided that Koeman is the man to take over at Goodison Park, but the Dutchman would be better off staying at St. Mary’s. Although top players have regularly left Southampton over the past couple of years, he has continued to improve the side, and this looks set to continue.
Koeman has built a squad at Southampton that plays the way he wants them to, with fast passing football in the attacking third, and then pressing the ball high up the pitch when the opposition has it. If he does move to Everton, he will have to implement a new system, one very different to the keep-ball tactic of Roberto Martinez.
Despite the increased financial power available at Everton with the new investment, Southampton is still a more attractive proposition for new players. The Saints aren’t exactly struggling financially, and the prospect of Europa League football is more of a pull than having no European football like the Toffees.
It is likely that Everton will offer Koeman a larger pay packet if he makes the move to Goodison Park, but if he really wants to be successful in England, he would be better off staying with Southampton.