Sunday, June 26, 2022

Southampton Part Ways With 29 Y/O Out of Favour Defensive Ace: Wise Move For All Parties Involved?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Southampton have finally parted ways with their Romanian centre-back Florin Gardos. According to recent reports, the Saints have finally gotten rid of their expensive flop after his time in England has been unimpressive, to say the least. The 29-year-old defender has returned home to Romania to play for Universitatea Craiova for the remainder of the campaign when his £30,000-a-week deal with the Premier League outfit will finally expire and he’ll become a free agent. He has cost the Saints a staggering £680,000 per match following his arrival at Hampshire for £6m in the summer of 2014 from Steaua Bucharest. The Romania international has gone on to make just 18 appearances for the Saints since then.

Gardos has not featured in the top tier of English football for almost three years under Ronald Koeman, his successor Claude Puel and current manager Mauricio Pellegrino. He has only played once for the senior team since that February 2015 run out against West Bromwich Albion when he laced up for the 5-0 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal in January 2017.

His time at the St. Mary’s Stadium has been a nightmare and it would be beneficial for both the club and the player to part ways going into the future. Only time will tell whether Gardos can resurrect his career back in his homeland after his failure to cut the mustard in the Premier League.

Southampton are currently occupying 18th place in the Premier League standings with a tally of 26 points in 27 league matches. They are just a point away from safety but are in real danger of getting relegated at the end of the season if the results don’t turn for the better soon. The Saints have just 11 games to save their Premier League lives with a relegation dogfight looming on the horizon. The departure of Gardos might reduce their squad depth but it was clear from his time in England that none of the three Saints managers fancied playing him so it shouldn’t have any effect on the club going forward.

Gardos has made three appearances for the Saints in Premier League 2 this season. He also boasts 14 international caps for the Romania national team so a switch back to his nation could be an ideal opportunity for him to resurrect his career.

It remains to be seen what lies ahead in the future of Gardos and whether the Saints will be better off without his services in the coming years.

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