Premier League 2022/23 Preview: Southampton

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Premier League Prediction – 17th

Southampton head into the 2022/23 season with aspirations of a top half of the table finish under boss Ralph Hasenhüttl. To say last season that Southampton limped over the line was an understatement, four defeats from the final five games and a meagre tally of forty points. The main issue stemmed from the departure of striker Danny Ings and it took Southampton ten games to win their first match, with a worse goal difference (-24) than relegated Burnley, safety was ensured for another season off the back of a good run of games in February. 

After the back of a disappointing season, Hasenhüttl opted to refresh his coaching staff with Kelvin Davis, Dave Watson and Craig Fleming all leaving their roles. Some may question whether the Austrian should have been also been on the move after an uninspiring campaign on the south coast. Still, new owner Dragan Solak has opted for continuity this season, but it remains to be seen how long Hasenhüttl will stay in the Saints dugout. 

In transfer news, Southampton has refreshed with some interesting youth signings. Manchester City prospects Gavin Bazunu & Romeo Lavia for a combined £22.5 million, both are highly rated by Pep Guardiola and have decided to make the move down south to get some Premier League football. 

Goalkeeper Bazunu enjoyed an impressive season on loan at Portsmouth and already has 10 caps for the Republic of Ireland to his name, whilst Belgian defensive midfielder Lavia is a promising talent, so much so that Manchester City inserted a £40m buy-back clause in the deal with Southampton. 

Elsewhere, Joe Aribo has been signed from Rangers. The Nigerian international had an influential season north of the border in pushing the Glasgow side all the way to the Europa League final, even opening the scoring in Seville before eventually losing out on penalties. Arbio has been handed the number 7 shirt this season and will be primed his chance in the Premier League count. 

 

One to watch: James Ward-Prowse

Much of how Southampton will get on this season will be down to their club captain. Ward-Prowse was the top scorer (11) and leading assist maker (8) in the last campaign and is one of the finest free-kick takers in the game today.

Tottenham and West Ham have been linked with England international who did sign a five-year deal with the club last season. Ward-Prowse has been in and around the England team over the last few years and could be tempted by a move to a bigger club to boost his chances of reaching the Three Lions squad for Qatar 2022. 

First five fixtures: Tottenham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Man United, Chelsea 

Transfers In

Mateusz Lis (free, Altay)
Gavin Bazunu (£12m, Manchester City)
Armel Bella-Kotchap (£8.6m, VfL Bochum)
Romeo Lavia (£10.5m, Manchester City)
Joe Aribo (£10m, Rangers)
Sekou Mara (£11.7m, Bordeaux)

Transfers Out

Harry Lewis (free, Bradford City)
Fraser Forster (free, Tottenham Hotspur)
Caleb Watts (loan, Morecambe)
Dan N'Lundulu (loan, Cheltenham Town)
Shane Long (free, Reading)
William Smallbone (loan, Stoke City)
Thierry Small (loan, Port Vale)
Benni Smales-Braithwaite (free, Barrow)

Southampton total spent to date: £52.8m
Southampton total received to date: £0m

Southampton net transfer balance: -£52.8m

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