Ronald Koeman lacking depth in Southampton squad

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Southampton manager Ronald Koeman needs to add some depth to his squad when the transfer window opens next month.

A recent spate of injuries in midfield and some lacklustre performances from his front men will no doubt be playing on the Dutchman's mind.

With the potential to push on for a Champions League place well on the cards, the Southampton board might just give Koeman the funds he needs to push on.

Midfield depth

It seems strange to suggest that the Saints might need an extra man in the midfield, but with James Ward-Prowse, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork all out injured, Koeman might look to add another midfielder to his ranks.

With Cork out for around six to eight weeks, and Ward-Prowse still recovering from a long-term injury, Koeman has had to use Toby Alderweireld there in the last two matches.

Although the Belgian has looked at ease in the middle of the park, his partnership with Jose Fonte is not something Koeman will want to break up.

That has left Harrison Reed as the only other option, and with Koeman seemingly reluctant to use the England under-20 international, he may be forced into the market.

Wide man needed

Another area that the Saints are lacking depth is in the wide areas, with only Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic and Shane Long as options.

Mane and Emmanuel Mayuka are set for African cup of nations action in January, and with Tadic not quite hitting the boil of late, the Southampton boss will have identified this area for strengthening.

Jay Rodriguez is making his way back from injury and will be welcomed with opening arms when he returns, although it would also be foolish to pin the side's hopes on the former Burnley man's shoulders so soon.

Lack of creativity

Another reason why Koeman will be looking to add to his options in this area is the lack of service for Graziano Pelle. The Italian has not scored in the league since the 8-0 drubbing of Sunderland in October, and his chances have been limited in recent weeks.

The 51-year-old manager might just feel something fresh is needed in the creative department as a result.

Pelle backup limited

Graziano Pelle has been a revelation this season, scoring nine goals so far this season, but behind him in the pecking order, Southampton are lacking options.

Should the Italian international need a rest or get injured, the Saints have the option to move Shane Long into a central role, but the options behind that are extremely limited.

Sam Gallagher has not played this season through injury and with no comeback date known, it would leave Koeman with somewhat of a selection headache.

Danny Ings was linked with his home town club last week and a striker of his age and build would fit perfectly with the Southampton ethos should Koeman decide to make a move.

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