Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has hinted that the club could make another signing before next Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
Saints have had a very successful summer so far and have made eight signings so far, but Hasenhuttl suggested that a new central-midfielder may be signed before the transfer windows shuts
Speaking about transfers in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saints’ trip to Newcastle and after confirming the club were “100% finished” in the transfer market, he said:
"“The only position where we don’t have that many opportunities is the 6 (central-midfielder). We have with Ori (Oriol Romeu), Ward-Prowse, and Ibra (Ibrahima Diallo), three players for two positions – every other position is doubled. We also have a few other players that can play the 6 but when we do something it will maybe be in this position.”"
Southampton targeting central-midfielder in the last days of transfer window
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What Hasenhuttl says is true. He now has two quality options for each position in his 4-2-2-2 system apart from central-midfield and has hinted that a player could arrive in this position before the transfer deadline passes.
Interestingly, Saints are still able to make one more loan signing given that Armando Broja is the only loan player in the first-team squad right now. Perhaps Saints can take advantage of other clubs opening up to letting their own players move on and secure a temporary deal for another player who will add something significant to their group.
Last season, Stuart Armstrong was used as a central-midfielder towards the end of the season and played equally as well as he had as a number 10. It seems like Saints do not want to leave anything to chance after the injury problems they had during the last campaign though.
Having an alternative to James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu and Ibrahima Diallo will not only give cover but also added motivation for those players to keep or even earn a place in the starting line-up.
Crucially, last night’s 8-0 win at Newport despite nine changes being made has also confirmed that there is now some strength in depth for Hasenhuttl to dip into if and when he needs it.