Southampton could get chance to sign 183-goal superstar in St Mary's bargain

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl on the touchline

Southampton ended the season with one win from 13 games in all competitions.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s football philosophy has been implemented all the way down to youth level so there is a real need for a turnaround in quality and mindset in time for next season. They are sticking with the boss as they know that getting rid of him would mean a major reboot – and there is still faith in him. But the squad could look different by the start of 2022/23.

Dean Jones provides GIVEMESPORT with a must-read guide to the Saints’ summer transfer window.

Where could Southampton strengthen this summer?

This team has been lacking in goals – a factor that was not helped by Armando Broja scoring just once in the league since January. On the back of that Theo Walcott and Adam Armstrong failed to step up when they needed to – and now it is likely funds will be made available to improve the attack. But overall there is just a need to inject new life to the side and improve the competition for places.

Their main intent – beyond an obvious goal threat – will be a goalkeeper, central defender and a creative wide player.

Who could Saints sign this summer?

In terms of a goalkeeper the man they have been most heavily linked with is 6 ft 3 Fiorentina goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski. Talks have been ongoing on this front but other clubs are also interested in him. As such, Saints are monitoring various other targets including Manchester City’s Gavin Bazunu and Manchester United’s Dean Henderson.

Saints always have an eye on emerging talent and are keeping close tabs on Man City pair Cole Palmer and Liam Delap. The duo are highly rated and City do have long-term plans for both so it will be tough to make a breakthrough.

Saints also always look out for the best talent coming out of the Championship, and as such are monitoring Hull City’s Keane Lewis-Potter and Huddersfield’s Lewis O’Brien – but many other top-flight clubs have also been scouting both.

6 foot 3 loan signing Armando Broja is seen as a player they would like to return, but Southampton must wait first for Chelsea to make a decision on him in pre-season. Braga’s Vitinha, 22, is a player admired too.

If they are looking for a superstar signing then maybe it’s Gareth Bale. His next club is likely to be one close to his heart as he prepares for Qatar 2022 – and that might mean Saints have a shot at him. From his spells with Southampton, Tottenham and Real Madrid, the Welshman boasts 183 goals and 139 assists.

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One dream signing for Southampton this summer?

Nick Pope. Relegated with Burnley last season, this will be the time for him to move on and Saints really could do with signing a keeper of his quality.

Pope, 30, is being chased by sides like West Ham and Crystal Palace yet Southampton should also come into the conversation at a time when Hasenhuttl attempts to improve the quality in every area of the field.

Who’s leaving St. Mary’s?

Fraser Forster will join Tottenham after their attempt to sign Sam Johnstone hit a stumbling block, while Shane Long is also set to move on as his contract expires.

The club would be open to Theo Walcott and Moussa Djenepo moving on, while Mohammed Salisu has been linked with Barcelona.

Thierry Small and Diamond Edwards are emerging players who could be allowed to make loan moves if it transpires there is not space for them to grow in the Saints first team right now.

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Ian Andrews - Southampton

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Biggest challenge facing Saints this summer?

Keeping James Ward-Prowse. Over the past couple of seasons he has been linked with some big moves and in the past few months Manchester City, Tottenham, West Ham and Arsenal have been credited as potential landing spots.

He’s been very loyal to Saints and the club will seek to resist any further offers for him – no matter the size – as he is integral to this side and any immediate success.

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