English Premier League Stat of the Week

Stat of the Week: Southampton FC transfers

7:00 AMAleks Vee

Words and art by Aleks V. Stats compiled by Aidan Reagh.
Photos: Southampton FC, Premier League.
*All stats from last season.



With Premier League action less than two weeks away and the summer transfer window set to close on August 9, many clubs have been eager to strengthen their squads.

Southampton FC managed to avoid relegation last season, finishing 17th in the Premier League table - just three points above ill-fated Swansea City, though with a comfortably better goal difference (-19 vs. -28). Newly-appointed manager Mark Hughes secured the club's PL spot, but has a lot of work to do to prevent another downward spiral.

The club signed a number of players from the Premier League, Bundesliga, and Scotland, but are its acquisitions really upgrades?

GoalChatter examines some of the Saints' key transfers.


Goalkeeper




The Saints are looking for a solid pick to alternate with Alex McCarthy, as Fraser Forster is on the verge of leaving the club. Despite a serious knee injury in 2015 that left Forster sidelined for nearly 300 days, he made an impressive return to form and earned Player of the Month honors in March 2016 for a record-breaking 708-minute clean sheet. A loan spell may soon be in his future. In the meantime, Southampton will look to utilize the young Angus Gunn, who arrived from Manchester City. Gunn, an England U-21 international, spent last season on loan at his father Bryan Gunn's former club, Norwich City, keeping 15 clean sheets in 51 appearances. It's too early to tell what he'll bring to the pitch, but there's something to be said about a youngster who got the call to play for England's senior side against Brazil in a friendly, as well as train with Gareth Southgate's men ahead of the 2018 World Cup.


Centre-back




Danish centre-back Jannik Vestergaard joined Southampton from Borussia Mönchengladbach, having finished ninth with the club last year. The 25-year-old's towering height (1.99m) will add some strength in the box when defending set pieces. According to Squawka, he was one of the Bundesliga's top 10 players in aerial duels won (103). This can also be an advantage in the attacking end, as evidenced by Vestergaard's goal-scoring record: Per Transfermarkt, of his past 10 goals, nine have been headers. His fitness is just as impressive - he was the only outfield player in the Bundesliga to have played every one of his club's minutes in 2017.

Squawka notes his tackle success rate as 50%, (he won 35 tackles last season). He also made 44 interceptions, 143 clearances, and 34 blocks.


Southampton will kick off its Premier League season with a home game against Burnley FC on Sunday, August 12 at 8:30 a.m. ET (12:30 p.m. GMT).

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