While Southampton managed to bring in Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk on transfer deadline day, arguably the best bit of business they managed to do on the final day of the window was to hold onto defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama.
The Kenya international was reportedly being pursued by both Arsenal and Tottenham, according to the Daily Express, and when he told Ronald Koeman that he wished to leave (via Express), Saints fans would have got a horrible sense of deja vu, having had to watch several of their key man leave St Mary’s over the past two years.
However, not only did the south coast side manage to hold onto the 24-year-old, but they are now planning to tie him down to the club for even longer, according to executive director Les Reed (via Express).
“We’d like to tie him down for another five years,” he said.
While the Saints bounced back from last summer’s exodus impeccably, there is little question that it sends out the wrong message – even if they do manage to replace those who leave – if they continually have to sell their first-team players.
But by keeping hold of the former Celtic man, they have sent out a message to both potential targets and their Premier League rivals that they are not a stepping stone where youngsters hone their talent before departing for a bigger club.
And should they manage to get their wantaway midfielder to agree an extended stay, that message will be even louder.
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