Now that Rupert Lowe is no longer around to interfere with the goings on at Southampton, a return to the Premiership could well be on the cards for George Burley’s men.
Despite the January sale of England bench-warmer Theo Walcott, The Saints still have an excellent crop of young players beginning to break through into first-team contention, while the squad possesses more than enough quality to be up among the front-runners this term.
Burley has already been active in the transfer market this summer, with the recent addition of Manchester City striker Bradley Wright-Phillips adding to the season-long loan of Argentinean playmaker Marcelo Sarmiento and the deal that made Tottenham Hotspur striker Gzregorz Rasiak’s loan move permanent.
There is also a strong possibility that Burley will return to former club Hearts to secure the services of Andy Webster and Rudi Skacel, while he has also been linked with a move for Tommy Smith at another of his previous clubs, Derby County.
There looks to be a nice balance to Burley’s squad at St Mary’s as it is and any additional signings should ensure that Southampton are the equal of all their Championship rivals next season, which makes the 14-1 available with Coral look like excellent value.
9 July 2006