Mauricio Pochettino claimed he would not sign players from his former club Espanyol when he took over as Southampton manager but that hasn’t stopped various online media sources suggesting just the opposite.
The Spanish club’s main play maker Joan Verdu has been tipped to link up with the Saints, possibly during the summer, as he currently mulls over a new contract offer at Espanyol.
Bear in mind that similar managers, most notably Brendan Rodgers, have made similar claims in the past and have then gone on to do just the opposite of what they originally said.
There is no doubt that Verdu would improve the Southampton team because technically, he looks as good as any other player Pochettino has to choose from to play through the middle.
He’s good on the ball, doesn’t seem to mind receiving it under pressure and he can see a pass through the heart of the opposition defence.
Links to Pochettino’s former club are certainly not something which should be dismissed out of hand because regardless of the gaffer’s comments, it’s much easier for him to convince Espanyol players to join the Saints than most other Spanish clubs.
Verdu says he is flattered by links with a move to England but has insisted his main priority is to sort out a new deal in Spain.
Again, this should not be viewed as the player completely overlooking a possible move to the Premier League. Many players in the past have signed new contracts at a club so it allows that team to justify charging a decent price for the player.
It’s still way too early to judge Pochettino’s transfer activity at Southampton because there effectively hasn’t been any but it’s worth keeping an eye on the Espanyol press.
It’s much more likely that Pochettino will wait until the summer to do most of his rebuilding work and to establish links with his former players. He’s said he’s happy so unless a major injury occurs against Manchester United this week, that’ll be that for the rest of the season.
Adam Lallana is back in first team training and closing in on a return to action, which means for now, there is no point in the club going and signing another play maker but these sorts of stories aren’t going to go away, only increase in number and substance.
Is there any chance of Verdu signing for Southampton?