Absence of Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk casts a shadow over Southampton and goalscoring issues have not been fixed

Full Southampton team guide ahead of the big 2017/18 Premier League kick off as we look at reasons to be positive and pessimistic

Matt Monaghan
by Matt Monaghan
9th August 2017

article:9th August 2017

MANAGER

Mauricio Pellegrino


STAR MAN

Virgil van Dijk

LAST SEASON

8th

TOP SCORER

Nathan Redmond (7)

KEY INS

Mario Lemina (Juventus, £18m), Jan Bednarek (Lech Poznan, £5.7m)

Jan Bednarek

Jan Bednarek

KEY OUTS

Jay Rodriguez (West Brom, £12m), Jason McCarthy (Barnsley (£200,000), Cuco Martina (Everton, free), Martin Caceres (Verona, free)

REASONS TO BE POSITIVE

For the first time in many season, Saints have not – yet – lost a star name. New manager Pellegrino worked wonders at La Liga’s Alaves.

REASONS TO BE PESSIMISTIC

The absence of skipper Van Dijk, whether temporarily or permanently, casts a considerable shadow. Goalscoring issues have not been fixed and they have been poor in pre-season.

ONE TO WATCH

In the absence of any exciting incomings, the onus falls on the likes of Sofiane Boufal to belatedly live up to the enlivening reputation he earned at Lille before last summer’s arrival.

Sofiane Boufal

Sofiane Boufal

EXPECTATION

The revolving door of managers keeps spinning at Saints, yet their record of respectable finishes also continues.

REALITY

The time when change catches up with Southampton seems at hand. If Manolo Gabbiadini does not attain consistency of finishing, a descent down the table awaits.


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