Southampton could choose to target the South American market for transfers in the future after recruitment changes brought about because of Brexit.
New rules will mean a points-based system being used to decide whether players can play in the UK with restrictions on free movement around Europe and, via transfer market experts, this could mean less European players being signed. In turn, this will leave open space for UK talent and players from countries like those in South America, where points-based systems will rate signings favourably in comparison.
Speaking in the Saints Fans’ Forum back in May (23:40), Saints Director of Football Operations Matt Crocker said:
"“We have to stick to to the plan. There are certain regulations that are changing in the game that will open up different markets for us and we need to be sure that we cover those market off really, really well. Particularly things like South America might be a real opportunity now with Brexit changes and some of the regulations that are coming up.”"
Why will South America open up to clubs like Southampton?
As mentioned previously, post-Brexit rulings will limit which European players can be signed by UK clubs.
More from Saints Marching
- Grading the Southampton Transfer Window Part 2: Arrivals
- Grading the Southampton Transfer Window Part 1: Departures
- It’s time to talk about Gavin Bazunu
- Rain clouds on the horizon? Southampton beat Plymouth Argyle
- A lament for Southampton legend James Ward-Prowse
Via official information from the FA, players will be rated on their senior and youth international appearances, the quality of the league and club they are coming from and their club appearances.
Saints will be limited to signing three oversees players each January transfer window and six per season, and the hope is that this will improve chances for UK players and improve the overall quality of leagues with only the best players signed.
Recruitment from South American countries is now said to have less restrictions in comparison and many clubs will be looking for the best opportunities to maximise the outcome of their transfers from outside UK shores.
Saints may well shift part of their recruitment drive from Europe to countries like Brazil, Argentina and Mexico as they try to steal a march on other clubs in the Premier League.
They offer a direct path for players to prove themselves in the top-flight and then move on to other clubs if interest is shown, and a shift will surely be seen from recent years when they have signed many Under-21 players from Europe to join their academy setup.