Things have changed quick and fast at St. Mary’s in the last couple of months and what the result was the Saints starting the transfer window in a rather slow manner. With Europa League at the South Coast club next season and big departures like Mane, Pelle and Wanyama, the Saints are likely to accelerate their pursuit for new additions to the squad in the remainder of the transfer window.
A new manager needs a bit of time to assess the squad he inherits and then only he can identify the areas that need reinforcements. As Claude Puel works with the Southampton players, he will gradually identify the lapses in the squad and one of them possibly is the lack of depth up front.
Puel had his success playing two up front at Nice last season and even though the Saints have three options up front right now with Shane Long, Charlie Austin and Jay Rodriguez, a fourth option is clearly needed as the Saints will be subjected to a congested fixture list next campaign. The South Coast club will be looking to push for a top four finish as well after their three consecutive finishes in top-eight. That calls for better squad depth and a new forward should be the priority.
According to the printed edition of L’Equipe, Southampton are interested in signing Monaco striker Valere Germain. Puel’s Nice side created history in Ligue 1 last term by finishing fourth against all the odds and Germain played a key part in making that possible. Plying his trade for Nice on loan from Monaco, Germain struck 14 goals and provided six assists from 38 Ligue 1 games last season and in the process, he became a favourite of Puel.
Over the years, Germain had his troubles to establish himself as a regular feature at his boyhood club AS Monaco and sooner rather than later, he needs to move out on a permanent basis. He never was a prolific scorer at Monaco but was largely influential last season at Nice not just with goals but also with his ability to create and work his socks off for the team.
An inch shy of 6 feet, Germain is a striker who is not dependent on his physical strength to beat the opponent defenders. The Frenchman loves to operate from deeper positions and he is blessed with a gifted positioning ability. A good passer of the ball, he can play impressive one-twos with fellow attackers and put the opponent defenders in danger.
With his strong link-up play, work ethics and intelligence, Germain is a perfect fit for teams who play two up front. Puel is likely to opt for that at St. Mary’s and if he can manage to get the Frenchman on the cheap, it would a piece of shrewd business from the Saints. Already well-known to the manager, Germain can be a big success if he reunites with Puel at St. Mary’s.