In the last few days, the two names of Felipe Anderson and Xherdan Shaqiri have come up as potential signings for Saints over the course of the summer window. One will most likely be foreign to Southampton fans, however, the other is most likely a well-known figure, while there has been continued interest in Quincy Promes.
Spartak Moscow’s 26-year-old winger Quincy Promes, his name has been thrown into the ring as well after Southampton missed out on the Dutchman’s signature in January, however, the potential signing has received little coverage from the British press of late regarding a move to the South Coast.
What do the three players have in common? They’re wingers. High-quality wide men that could really help Saints’ attacking problems that have been demonstrated over the last two seasons. Last season, Southampton only managed to score 37 league goals in a 38-game campaign, less than one a single game! The tally from the season before wasn’t as bad but still very low at 41 goals when you compare the feat to the 59 goals that were scored during the 2015/16 campaign. I’d imagine that by now Saints fans are familiar with what Promes bring to the table with all of the hype that’s surrounded the possibility of him joining the club; putting it simply he scored 21 goals and recorded 10 assists in 38 games last season. But what about the other two names? What would Anderson and Shaqiri offer to a side desperate for goals?
See Promes in action below:
Firstly, the more well-known player. Having played three seasons in the Premier League already with recently-relegated Stoke City, Mark Hughes’ former side, Shaqiri has definitely shown some qualities that could heavily benefit Saints going forward. The 26-year-old contributed 8 goals and 7 assists in the Premier League last season, an impressive total regarding that his side finished 19th. Furthermore, in the three seasons that the Swiss international has competed in England’s top flight, he has scored a total of 15 goals and helped out with 15 assists. But how does this compare with what Southampton already have? In terms of last season, Dusan Tadic was the club’s best-attacking midfielder statistically with six goals and three assists in 36 appearances, the same amount of game time as Shaqiri. This clearly shows that Shaqiri would deliver the much needed goals Southampton require but also provide service to his teammates.
The winger has clearly expressed his desire to leave his current outfit Stoke City following their relegation to the Championship and would apparently be keen on a reunion with former manager Mark Hughes. However, what’s most appealing is the fact that the former Bayern and Inter man reportedly has a £12m release clause which is an absolute steal! To put that into perspective, that’s only £2m more than what was paid two summers ago for Nathan Redmond! Although this cheap price has subsequently created challenges for Les Reed and Mark Hughes, a number of Premier League clubs are circling Shaqiri for his signature, however, the latest reports acknowledge that Saints are leading the race to sign him.
See Shaqiri in action below:
As for Felipe Anderson, his stats are definitely the most mouth-watering out of the three considering the lack of game time the Brazilian had and the fact that he was competing in Serie A, one of Europe’s top-five leagues. The Santos youth product managed to score eight goals and record ten assists in just 32 games in all competitions last season, incredibly impressive considering that he had injury problems as well as spending plenty of time on the bench due to being out of favour with boss Simone Inzaghi. However, Southampton fans shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet as West Ham are firmly in pole position to land the Brazilian’s signature as it has reported that they’ve followed up a previously rejected £33m bid.
It would seem as though, especially with the disposable income that the Saints board has to spend, that fans won’t be completely satisfied with having just one of these names join as it would completely solve our problems in attack. Shaqiri currently looks like the most likely name to join but, if another of the three were to join, I’d probably back the board to get Promes instead of Anderson due to how close they were to secure the 25-year old back in January. Either way, any of the three playmakers would definitely improve the current starting eleven!
See Anderson in action below: