Southampton correspondent Dan Sheldon has explained how a senior leadership meeting within the club influenced the club’s summer transfer business.
In the transfer market so far, the Saints have made a number of seemingly shrewd deals. Teenagers such as Tino Livramento and Thierry Small have been signed for fairly low fees, while 24-year-old Adam Armstrong has come in at a much lower price than what the club received for Danny Ings.
While talking on the Total Saints podcast, Sheldon outlined how the club want to employ the German model of signing young English players who have a high potential – exampled well by Borussia Dortmund with Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham.
He explained the decision, saying: “Earlier this year, I was led to believe there was a kind of a senior leadership meeting. And obviously, Southampton know, as a club, they’re not gonna be able to financially compete with some of their closest rivals.
“So it was, okay, well, how do we try and be smart? What should we be looking at where perhaps other clubs aren’t looking at so aggressively?”
Sheldon then returned to the subject, saying: “Going back to that meeting, it was decided, well, look at all the players going to Germany, and it was kind of like, why don’t we market ourselves as that? As, well, don’t go there – come here instead and you’ll play in the Premier League, and it saves you moving abroad as a youngster and whatever, whatever, whatever.
“And yeah, that led to them going after Livramento, Small, and I don’t think it’s going to stop.”
TIF Thoughts on Southampton’s new transfer policy…
Earlier this summer, Livramento arrived at St. Mary’s on a five-year contract. Considering he was Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year last season and that he has started all three of the club’s opening Premier League fixtures, this deal looks to have been particularly well-thought-out.
Small also signed a long-term contract with the Saints recently. The left-back is Everton’s youngest ever senior player, making his debut in an FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday at the age of just 16 years and 176 days.
With these two highly-rated youth prospects arriving on the south coast, it clearly shows the club’s new model is already being put into practice, and is potentially a sign of things to come, with Sheldon suggesting it was just the beginning.