Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger claims that “every penny” of the club’s summer transfer sales will be made available to manager Ronald Koeman to rebuild the team before the close of the transfer window.
“Our summer activity is definitely not a fire sale, every penny of that will be up for reinvestment as transfer fees and wages,” Krueger’s told TalkSport’s Drivetime.
Thus far, the Saints have raked in around $165 million in transfer fees through the sales of Dejan Lovren ($34M), Rickie Lambert ($7M) and Adam Lallana ($44M) to Liverpool, Luke Shaw ($53M) to Manchester United and Calum Chambers ($27M) to Arsenal.
Rumors of additional sales for midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and forward Jay Rodriguez have been shut down, with the former noting his discontent over the decision to keep him at St. Mary’s. Perhaps now with Krueger’s announcement, the intense feelings of distress at St. Mary’s will abate.
“It is there right now as we speak for Ronald and [club executive director] Les Reed to put into play in the transfer market,” Krueger continued. “We need to have a dressing room filled with players who want to be at Southampton, who understand the way we’re moving forward, how we’re building towards European football and how we can get there in a healthy way.”
How selling five of your best assets can be considered “moving forward” is the gripe of most Southampton fans. Last year the club produced some brilliant football, finishing 8th in the table, a coup many attributed to the side’s impeccable balance and positive mood.
In fact, it was during last season that then-manager Mauricio Pochettino announced his side’s intention to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and not, specifically, the Europa League. Now Krueger, who took over for the much-beloved former chairman Nicola Cortese last March, is reiterating the same goal. How that’s to be accomplished by selling five key assets and bringing in a handful of new personalities is a huge ask.
Yet Krueger insists that the decisions to sell were based on the extraordinary fees being offered for their players, a fact that, aside from Lambert’s fee, is very difficult to argue with. “[S]elling the players at the prices were offered gives the club an opportunity to continue building a team that will be competitive for many years to come, and not just in the short-term,” Krueger said.
Now it’s up to Krueger to prove to the fans that he will keep his word and replenish the cupboard. “We will try to be as transparent as possible as we move forward, I can’t fix the dates [of any future transfers] that would be wrong. But I am extremely optimistic we will have some targets at the club within the next few days.”