Southampton are looking towards Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovic to replace Mauricio Pellegrino after the season. The Saints were promised Europa League football after the sacking of Claude Puel but instead are rotting in 17th spot of the Premier League title.
A relegation worry has been looming over the St Mary’s Stadium for the majority of the 2017/18 campaign and Pellegrino has been at the end of all the blame. The Argentine’s case should be sympathized over the number of injuries his team has gone through and the lack of quality signings over the past 2 transfer windows.
However, a manager should also have the pedigree to command his side out of the rough patches a team is bound to hit over a 38-game season. Not only has the 46-year-old struggled to match up to the Premier League oppositions tactically, his ability to uplift the morale of the squad has been questionable. The players have put in a decent shift on regular minutes but always looked beaten in the late stages.
Their shambolic run of 12 games without a win in the league outraged the fans and caused them to drop steeply down the points table. The defensive ranks have dropped in terms of quality after Virgil van Dijk departed on a record-breaking deal to Liverpool earlier in January.
The strike force has been a part of the problem as well. Striker Shane Long finally ended his 35 game goal drought against Palace earlier in the season but it was not enough to get the side a win. Gabbiadini’s case is controversial with the limited minutes he has received so far and might just have fallen out of favour with Pellegrino.
The January arrival, Guido Carrillo has struggled to find his feet in the English game and the final stretch of the season is set to be another gruelling battle without an in-form number nine.
Southampton are a point adrift of the relegation scraps and Pellegrino is trying to put together a run of wins. Even if he manages to save the side from the drop to the Championship, it would be foolish to let him continue for the succeeding campaign.
Jokanovic has put together a brilliant Fulham side who are fighting for promotion through the playoff spots. The Whites are in the 4th spot of the Championship, just 4 points behind the automatic promotion spot.
It would be tough to pry him away from Fulham if they win promotion and Southampton get themselves relegated.