Semmens must avoid Saints transfer disaster with £10m PL dud, Ralph doesn't need him – opinion
Southampton have recently been linked with a move for Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff, but there is little to suggest that he would be a worthwhile addition to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad.
What’s the word?
According to the Daily Mail, the Saints and Everton are both interested in signing the 23-year-old, who is entering the final year of his contract at St James’ Park.
As a result, Steve Bruce’s side have set a £10m asking price on the young midfielder in their hopes of selling him this summer before his contract expires at the end of the season.
Should Southampton sign Longstaff?
Although Longstaff looked to be a bright prospect when he first burst onto the scene with the Toon, his performances since then have been largely disappointing, and he has struggled to keep his regular starting spot in Bruce’s side.
In total, the Newcastle academy graduate has made 70 appearances for the first team, in which he has contributed four goals and four assists, scoring just once in the last two Premier League seasons.
Given that Hasenhuttl already has the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Ibrahima Diallo and Stuart Armstrong available to him in central midfield, it is difficult to see where Longstaff fits in, especially if the Austrian sticks with his 4-2-2-2 formation again this season.
Last season saw the Newcastle man contribute no goals and just one assist in 22 Premier League appearances, averaging a very disappointing 6.36 rating from WhoScored for his performances, which emphasises that he should be nowhere near the starting team at Southampton on current form.
Hasenhuttl has stressed recently that the club’s priority for the rest of the window is signing a centre-back who can also play in defensive midfield, and they appear to be getting that in Torino’s Lyanco, so it seems clear that he simply doesn’t need a player such as Longstaff at St Mary’s.
In other news… Hasenhuttl handed huge Saints boost with “complete package”
Source: Football – Football Fan Cast